They Used Their Music To Fight Racism And Discrimination

Sweet Honey in the Rock
Shonda Buchanan
September 23, 2020

It was 1973. Five women took their seats on the empty stage in front of the packed stadium. As they waited for the sign from the lead singer, they wondered: would the world appreciate their version of Old Negro Spirituals? What happened next inspired the world.

They lifted their voices in unison. Wade In The Water, the powerful, soulful gospel spiritual flowed out as though from one voice, sounding like a river of one thousand enslaved people crying for freedom.

Founder Bernice Johnson Reagon leaned forward - insistent, graceful, determined to bring the struggle of her people, and her ancestors, to the world. But could music fight racism, injustice and galvanize people to vote and to fight for equality as the sit-ins and the Civil Rights Movement had?

Yes - because the voice was the FIRST instrument. Their rich hymns, blues, gospels and African folk songs channeled and celebrated the spiritual strength of our ancestors AND our activists!

Like this 40+ year old powerful ensemble, we can use our voices, our spirituality and our music for the liberation and upliftment of our communities and the diaspora!

How are you using your voice to uplift our communities?

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: