The Classics a Day team unanimously decided to make #BlackLivesMatter the theme for July. Classical music isn’t immune to systemic racism. It’s an art form that, like painting, sculpture, literature, or poetry, is a powerful form of expression for many voices. But some voices are heard more often than others.
If you’d like to learn more about composers of color, I recommend Music by Black Composers as a starting point.
06/01/20 Undine Smith Moore (1904-1989) – Afro-American Suite
Moore was born in Virginia, the granddaughter of former slaves. Her work represented the state at Kennedy Center Bicentennial celebration.
06/02/20 William Grant Still (1895-1978) – Africa Symphonic Poem
This work was to be part of a trilogy about the African-American experience. This symphonic poem is the first part, represents their cultural origins in Africa.
07/03/20 J. Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954) – Lift Every Voice and Sing
The words were a poem by his brother James Weldon. J. Rosamond Johnson’s composition became the official song of the NAACP, an organization both were active in.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us