African American History Culture : Fisk Jubilee Singers: They Introduced the World to Songs of Slavery. It Almost Broke Them

Clyde C Coger Jr

going above and beyond
Nov 17, 2006

Fisk Jubilee Singers: They Introduced the World to Songs of Slavery. It Almost Broke Them
The Jubilee Singers were a global sensation. But an aggressive touring schedule would leave the young performers exhausted, underpaid, and in some cases, dead

The song “Wade in the Water,” for example, contained lyrics that, folklore holds, delivered coded advice for escapees by describing a strategy for evading pursuing, scent-hungry bloodhounds. (Harriet Tubman would rely on “map songs” as a method of giving directions to African Americans fleeing north.)...
Words by Rebecca Onion

The Fisk Jubilee Singers, 1875. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution


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