Today marks the tenth day of 28 Days of Black Excellence created by VocalEssence Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III. Phillip highlights the work of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, “one of the most highly regarded, influential, and widely read poets of 20th-century American poetry. She was a much-honored poet, even in her lifetime, with the distinction of being the first Black author to win the Pulitzer Prize.” Our musical pairing is the spiritual “Over My Head, I Hear Music In the Air,” changed from its original text, “Up Above My Head,” during the civil rights era, the best known recording of which was by Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Marie Knight in 1947.
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)
Notable Achievements: First African American to win a Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1950, poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first Black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois.
Sponsor Thank You
This episode of 28 Days of Black Excellence was sponsored by Carol Brandenburg.
Sponsor Black Excellence
Each episode and blog post take $250 to create and produce. Consider sponsoring a day or even a week of these amazing entrepreneurs. Episodes will be included in the FREE online WITNESS Portal for teachers around the world. Sponsors will be named in the blog posts on the VocalEssence website. You are encouraged to sponsor in honor of a loved one or a beloved organization. Just add their name in the Dedication section of the donation form.