Sometimes I find myself getting discouraged by the lack of interest and responsibility we have to preserve our albeit imperfect yet extraordinary national cultural heritage & music. I have asked myself this question a million times: What can I do or what can I say that will loose the chains of bondage we are still in today that keeps us from knowing our awe inspiring slave brothers & sisters who endured slavery in this country?…………then as my despair reaches a low point, as luck would have it, I find a letter of support on my desk from Dr. Dorothy Height, one of America’s greatest Civil Rights leaders sent me in 2005 that turns my despair into determination to keep going once again. Here is a quote from her letter:
Historic perception: Victims or Heroes?
“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. W. E. B. Debois stated so poignantly about this music: ‘it still remains as the singular spiritual heritage of the nation and the greatest gift of the Negro people’.
Know that you are an important educational resource. Keep up the good work.”
— Dorothy I. Height
Chair & President Emerita
National Council of Negro Women, Inc
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