Calvin Earl
As A Storyteller / Musician I Share The Stories And Music Of Our Americana Musical Heritage & History.

Life Is A Gift: Thoughts From My Soul

Life is a gift. As human beings we each must own and be responsible for our thoughts and deeds. Religion is a thought created by human beings as a way of acknowledging and showing gratitude towards the Power that created us all or as many of us call the Power: God

As human beings on our human journey we have decided we must defend our own version of God by casting judgement on our fellow man because of our differences in thoughts, where we were born, or the color of our skin. For some reason we believe God needs defending and we need to criticize our differences in God’s name. The truth is God made no mistakes in creating us. Perhaps if we change our thoughts we might see our differences as blessings. Recognizing our differences as blessings will awaken our free will to discover our own path to freedom from fear, hate, poverty, greed, violence, unjust deeds and unkind thoughts toward one an other. 

In my humble opinion I think we have forgotten who the power belongs to. God does not ask us to defend Him.  God needs no defense after all. God is the one who created us not the other way around. God’s only request of us is to love each other unconditionally as we all belong to God and God sees us all as perfect.  Loving and blessing each other instead of judging each other is what God asks of us. Let it begin with me. I love you all unconditionally. May God bless you, and comfort you and give you peace. And so it is. Amen!

African American Spirituals Forgotten

The African American Spirituals are just too valuable to be forgotten. In my many conversations with my dear friend Dr. Dorothy Height(1912-2010), Civil Rights icon, former Chair and President Emerita for National Council of Negro Women said to me, “I am so proud of you Calvin for presenting this historic legislation to the US Congress, because without preserving the African American Spirituals, it would be like we were never here”. Even today, her words add fuel to the fire in my soul to establish a Center For Learning for this precious historical music and oral history. For me, preserving the African American Spirituals, preserves the spirit of all America, and after all the spirituals are recognized as our national music. 

Amazingly, the songs the slaves created, (known as the spirituals) allowed the slaves to be heard during a time when they were not allowed to have a voice. Their secret communications within these songs not only changed the course of history, thankfully it preserved their oral history, healed their pain, and paid forward to their children the idea that fortitude, courage and resilience will ultimately give them their human rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Now that the African American Spirituals are recognized as an American National Treasure, through the Twin Resolutions I proposed and passed by unanimous vote in the US Congress in 2007, my work is not complete yet. I know it is vitally important to establish a resource center to house the history of the African American Spirituals and the enslaved African’s oral history embedded in the songs. I want to establish and build a National African American Spirituals House, that would include a center for learning, a performing arts center, and be an educational resource for school curriculums across America.  A note to self: When you have a dream, it’s time to get to work.

Dr. Dorothy I. Height supported Calvin Earl with Twin Resolutions recognizing the African American Spiritual as a National Treasure. This picture was taken at her birthday party celebrating her 97th birthday in Washington DC at the NCNW office building.

‘GRATITUDE’ A COLLECTION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN SPIRITUALS

It is with great pride and love I present to you my new CD rerelease ‘GRATITUDE’ a collection of African American Spirituals As A National Treasure. I was thrilled to have the incomparable Katreese Barnes as background vocalist on this album. She was the first African American female music director of SNL and she is background vocalist for a multitude of artists including Sting, Alicia Keys, and many others. This CD also includes in the accompanying booklet the historic 2007 Twin Resolutions H.RES 120 and S RES 69 language recognizing the African American Spiritual as as National Treasure and honoring the Enslaved Africans for their contributions to our nation with our deepest gratitude and respect. As the US spokesman for the African American Spirituals as a National Treasure my love for the Spirituals and my passion to guarantee their preservation grows stronger every day and I am very proud of this collection of spirituals as an American National Treasure. Buy your copy today on my shop page which will direct you to CD Baby or Monticello – Thomas Jefferson’s historical site and online shop. https://www.calvinearl.com/spirituals-and-freedom-songs-shop/

The African American spirituals in the 21st century are dependent upon all of us to keep their original intention and sound alive. The deep roots of our American oral history & original music invite you to connect with others to honor the gifts from our ancestors by sharing Our Stories, Our History and Our Music with the world. By sharing this rich vibrant music & the oral history of our American roots we can and will overcome the obstacles that for years have kept this information underground.

For African Americans, after slavery ended our beloved enslaved brothers and sisters wanted to forget everything that reminded them of slavery and that included their spirituals. We all can understand why. But the spirituals had helped them navigate their way to freedom. So by giving up the spirituals they had created during slavery to find inner peace, hope, strength, safety, courage and that eternal connection to the power that created us all, the now freed Africans had given up the one thing that had helped them on their journey all those years before. For themselves and every generation afterwards left them venerable to succumb to those continuing loud external voices that would have us believe if we are a descendant of the people who were labeled slaves that we somehow aren’t good enough, we aren’t smart enough, and we are less than perfect. The Supreme Court cited Dr. Kenneth Clark’s 1950 paper “To separate [African-American children] from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.” in the landmark decision Brown VS. Board of Education.

The truth is, we are all people in spite of any label we have been given. It is how we perceive ourselves that is the measure of a man. It should be deeply concerning to us as American citizens within our diverse nation that the original intention & sound of the spirituals will be lost forever, just like the 6000+ fragments of these songs housed in the Library of Congress that will never be heard in their entirety if we don’t join together and tell our inclusive and collective story. As a wonderfully diverse country, ‘We The People’ truly believe in Thomas Jefferson’s words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Join me in cerebrating Our Stories, Our History and Our Music together. And don’t forget to purchase your copy of ‘Gratitude’ today on my shop page which will direct you to CD Baby or Monticello – Thomas Jefferson’s historical site and online shop. I love y’all and thank you in advance for your business!     https://www.calvinearl.com/spirituals-and-freedom-songs-shop/

21st CENTURY AFRICAN AMERICAN SPIRITUALS

African American spirituals in the 21st century are dependent upon all of us to keep their sound alive. The deep roots of our American oral history & original music invite you to connect with others to honor the gifts from our ancestors by sharing Our Stories, Our History and Our Music with the world. Knowledge is power. By sharing this vibrant rich music & the oral history of our American roots with the world we can overcome the obstacles that for years have kept this information underground.

You see, after slavery ended our slave brothers and sisters wanted to forget everything that reminded them of slavery and that included their spirituals. We can all understand why. But by giving up the spirituals they had created during slavery to find inner strength, safety, courage and that connection to the power that created us all, now the freed slaves, and every generation after that would succumb to those external voices that would have us believe the thoughts, if you are a descendant of the people who were labeled with the word slave you aren’t good enough, you aren’t smart enough, and you are less than perfect. The truth is, we are all people in spite of any label we have been given. It is how we perceive ourselves that is the measure of the man. It is deeply concerning that the original intention & sound of the spirituals will be lost forever, just like the 6000+ fragments of these songs housed in the Library of Congress that will never be heard in their entirety if we don’t join together and tell our story.

Thankfully in 2007 the US Congress unanimously passed Twin Resolutions to honor our American slave brothers and sisters for their contributions to our nation with our deepest gratitude and respect and recognize the African American Spirituals as a National Treasure. Join the social community, to share the gifts of your ancestors, and the spirituals your grandmother used to sing to you with all of us. Stop by my website and share your stories, I’d love to hear from you! Watch the video to see my own journey and what it took to secure the spirituals as an American national treasure in 2007.

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