Calvin Earl
I Travel The Back Roads Of America In Search Of The Elements Of Peace In Our Musical Heritage & History.

Is The Spirituals History Valuable?

Calvin Earl and Dr. Dorothy Height

“The continuing legacy of those historic songs helped bind us together, gave us courage and helped us march together during the Civil Rights Movement. I believe as you do that this is historical and cultural information which should be preserved. Since it is not, you are performing an essential public service and for this you should be commended. Your talents have brought exposure and life to America’s first true art form. It is our social responsibility to preserve the culture that our forefathers died for. Know that you are an important educational resource. Keep up the good work.”— Dr Dorothy I. Height (1912 – 2010) Chair & President Emerita National Council of Negro Women, Inc

That is what my friend Dr Dorothy I. Height wrote to me in a letter.  She encouraged me when people wouldn’t listen. She would tell me things about her life, and how people thought she was out of her mind to buy a building on Pennsylvania Ave to house the National Council Of Negro Women, especially since NCNW already had a building. She pushed her idea until she got what she wanted, and because of her actions and commitment to the process, not only is the National Council of Negro Women the only privately owned building on Pennsylvania Ave between the White House and the US Capitol building, but it is also right next to the Square where slaves were sold in Washington DC. Her main purpose in acquiring the building was to ensure that every time a President left the White House to go to the US Capitol building they would have to pass the Square where the slaves were sold & the National Council of Negro Women. She wanted every one of our Presidents to be reminded, that it was our enslaved African brothers and sisters who were instrumental in helping build our country. Without the enslaved Africans contributions America would not be America. She believed like  I do that the spirituals created by unacknowledged slaves were a vital part in keeping records of our history. As she said to me on numerous occasions  “without the spirituals being preserved and understood, it would be like we were never here.” She made me promise her that I would never give up on my legislation and I kept my promise. Today the African American spirituals are recognized as a national treasure. And in that same legislation the slaves were honored for their contributions and gifts to our nation with our deepest gratitude and respect.  Below is picture of the National Council of Negro Building and the Square where enslaved Africans were bought and sold.  

Calvin Earl - National Council Of Negro Women building in Washington DC

Elements Of Peace Music

Calvin Earl at James Madison's Montpelier EstateThe Elements Of Peace Music is about peace, love and music! In today’s fast paced world, sometimes our souls just need a few minutes to decompress from the stress of everyday life. The soothing sound of music, and the beauty of being in nature are just 2 ways to help remind us of our knowing that peace, joy and an abundance of love always surrounds us. Sometimes our surroundings or circumstances of our environment tell us otherwise. We can only see the fear and despair leaving us to hunger and dream for a better day. What we must realize is that a better day begins within each of us in the exact moment we decide to choose that today is that better day. It takes focus, and belief in the knowledge that we are constantly being supported, and that it’s always our choice whether we see the support and accept the support or not.

For me music helped me survive and overcome a childhood of bullying and abuse. My negative childhood experiences do not define me by my own choice. I chose then, and I continue to choose that my heart is a joyful one. Too many times in my life I’ve heard people say to me: “wipe that smile off your face boy”. Instead of doing that, I chose to believe a wonderful lady, who told me: “Calvin your smile will bring you everything you ever want in life”. That beautiful lady was my mentor and a true friend to me, her name was Mahalia Jackson. She taught me more about the power and love in the human voice, and using music to bring joy, peace and God’s love to people. Everyone suffers, everyone hurts, everyone feels alone and abandoned at one time or another in their lives and it is our job to lift their spirits to feel loved and supported again. Now, Mahalia didn’t say that in words to me, she taught me through her taking me under her protective wing, loving me by mentoring a young boy so that I wouldn’t loose hope or the courage to do what I love to do. Joy fills my heart every time I think of her. My life has been filled with support and love even when I didn’t see it. The intention of my Elements of Peace Music is to bring real music, no gimmicks or flashing lights, for people to relax and connect with one an other in kindness and love. It’s Our Humanity, Our World, Our Love. Let’s share our best with each other.

Peace, Love & Music y’all!

Hidden Within The Spirituals

What exactly is hidden in a spiritual? Was there a path to freedom embedded in these songs? Were the enslaved Africans just victims or were their triumphs hidden in plain view? What are we teaching our children? These are questions that need answers. Perhaps a new perspective of your own history and the history of your ancestors holds a key to lead you on a new path in life where you feel supported and loved as you grow in your talents and manifest your destiny to become the best you can be. It is possible that the reason you might not believe this is because the perspective of your history has been skewed to ensure you think otherwise. Together we can take the blinders off, and take a look at who we really are and what our ancestors paid forward. 

The next question to ask is who are we and what have we become? My 4 part concert/lecture series beginning with: The History Of The African American Spirituals reveals the answers through a musical and cultural arts perspective.  America, “The Great American Experiment” began as a fledgling country in search of its soul by ruling itself as a democracy. For the first time in world history, a country would choose a governing leadership that would be comprised of individuals coming together as equals to form a government for, of and by the people to collectively be responsible for defining and governing our destiny as a country. Some of these ideals have yet to be fulfilled, and in order to accomplish this we must be the change. We must not settle for stagnation or apathy as the acceptable norm, instead we must choose hope and a willingness to create solutions to end poverty, racism and injustice for the good of our children and our nation.

Through music and storytelling I explore and redefine the American story, not as a black story or a white story but as a “We The People” story. Segregation and separate but equal laws have perpetuated and assisted in the coverup of true historical facts, by hiding the truth of American history and history worldwide of people of color. I share with you what I learned at the UNESCO Conference on slavery worldwide and through my own studies and what I learned from my elders in the cotton fields as a young boy. The oral history I learned from my elders in the cotton fields was raw, unfiltered and needed  some decoding. However the scholars written interpretation and the institutions preservation of history has been tainted by an agenda of race supremacy and intentional division. Thankfully the scholars, universities, historical sites and institutions are acknowledging the coverup of history and are seeking to correct the wrong doing and present the truth. However, this takes time and there are continuing efforts to keep the truth hidden.  

In the mean time, I share the oral history of my ancestors by telling their stories and original music we call spirituals. I also share my own success and leadership role in 2007 recognizing the African American Spiritual as a National Treasure by the 110th US Congress. Also by pointing out the obvious untruths and sharing the stories and music of our ancestors including songs and stories of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s is starkly different than the Colonialists intentional slant written in our history books to divide and conquer us. Believing music and the cultural arts give us all a better understanding of who we are as Americans as individuals will also help us continue to build a better country and future for our children. Bring your questions and a song in your heart to this interactive concert / lecture series. BOOK A CONCERT NOW!

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!

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