Black History Month Observance
Celebrating Black History in Worship
During Black History month and throughout the year, Trinity includes Spirituals as part of our time of worship together, such as the following:
The words and music of “Steal Away to Jesus” were created by Wallace Willis, a slave who became a Choctaw freedman in Hugo, Oklahoma (now once again part of the reservation of the Choctaw Nation, thanks to the Supreme Court ruling of July 9, 2020). The hymn can be interpreted as an expression of spiritual longing to be united with Jesus. Read more here. Listen to a performance by the Fisk Jubilee Singers here.
“Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit” was sung for President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War by a group under the direction of Aunt Mary Dines, a former White House employee. Their singing of this song brought tears to the president’s eyes. Reports say that on one occasion the president even sang along during a concert. Read more here. Listen to a performance by the J Clef Chorale here.
These two spirituals work together well thematically, as well as musically. This is true of many spirituals, since they are very simple melodies and harmonies that speak of struggle, injustice, faith and hope. Read more here. Listen to a performance by the Riverside Inspirational Choir here. Listen to the February 21 Trinity presentation by Stephanie and Andrew here.
Give Me Jesus originated as an African-American spiritual written during the time of slavery in the United States. The lyrics of Give Me Jesus are simple, but poignant. The thought that it was written by people stripped of all dignity and every human possession, says so much about what Jesus is. Read more about it here. Listen to it being sung by the Stellenbosch University Choir here.
Celebrating Black History in Springfield: Black-Owned Businesses
Throughout Springfield’s history, Black people have contributed to the economy of Springfield through a variety of businesses. We want to highlight some of those currently open. We hope you will spread the word about Black-owned business you already frequent and try out some of the ones we share if they are new to you. Find out more about Springfield’s history of Black-Owned businesses and the one’s we are highlighting here.