Classical 90.5 WUOL is proud to present African American Voices, a celebration of African American musicians. This 15 part series that will air the month of February, highlights the contributions of African American classical musicians, from powerhouse singers like Jessye Norman, Marian Anderson (above) and Paul Robeson, Pulitzer prize winning composer George Walker, conductor James DePriest, and many others. Each 3-minute feature includes music and engaging information about these musicians, whose work made significant impact on the musical life of the United States, often in the face of great adversity. Listen at 10am and 4pm, weekdays in February.
- Posted by Daniel Gilliam on February 3
2 Responses to “African American Voices”
On 02/14/14 8:05 PM, Suzanne R Brown said:
In your commentary on Paul Robeson, you state that he was blacklisted due to his speaking out for unions and against segregation and lynching. That was not the case at all! He was blacklisted due to his love affair with Russia and Stalin. He even sent his son to be educated there. While he never admitted to being an actual member of the Communist Party, he certainly was sympathetic to the Party and was associated with it. This was not about “politics” but about a a genuine fear that people felt at that time about the Russians, and one that I remember all too wells (squatting under my desk or in the school hall during atomic bomb drills). To say that opposition to Mr Robeson was just racial politics is revisionist history at best and a blatant mistaken of the facts at worst. Race certainly never held him back in his various careers.
I have taught music appreciation for several years. It wasn’t until last year that I really took time to delve into research regarding African American contribution to the realm of classical music. I have been thrilled to hear the vignettes on Gilliam’s series. It has been well done.
By the way, I do take issue with a comment from another listener with regard to Paul Robeson — Robeson was caught by race and the fear of communism both. I, too, remember the era of bomb shelters and the rest of the McCarthy fears that never came to fruition. I am also keenly aware that we whites did things to harm — Ms. Anderson, for instance, is another classic example. That, for sure, is not revisionist history. It is fact.