In a posting here last October, I mentioned that we had with us friends from Edinburgh, Ian and Donna Gilmour, and that Ian had a sabbatical fellowship from the Church of Scotland, in which he's a pastor, to research African-American spirituals — how they're used in worship, how they enshrine key aspects of black liberation theology, and how they sustain the spirit to enable it to resist oppression.
After Ian and Donna returned to Scotland, Ian and his congregation, St Andrew's and St George's West, organized an evening of performances and commentary celebrating the musical heritage of African-American Christianity — an evening focusing on "Slavery and Song." The evening drew on the interviews Ian and Donna conducted while they were in Arkansas last October.
Ian has now uploaded videos of the evening to YouTube, in six segments. I want to share the links with you here, as a resource for those of you interested in taking part in the national conversation that is developing after the recent events in Baltimore, and before that, in Ferguson, and with Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice and Eric Garner and far too many other names that might be named as we look at the heritage of systemic racism in the United States.
Here are the links to the six-part series on "Slavery and Song" (each link opens directly to a video file, and link #1 is the video at the top of this posting):
I hope that this video series will be of interest to you, and that those of you looking for resources to understand better the struggles of people of color for liberation and rights in the U.S. in light of the events in Baltimore (and Ferguson, etc.) will find this resources useful.