I thought it would be fun to share with you part of a letter I wrote to update my fans on my work to preserve the African American Spirituals as a National Treasure back in 2006 and 2007. It was without a doubt an adventure of a life time. I believed in my dream to have the United States government honor our slave brothers and sisters for their contributions to our nation and ensure the spirituals were preserved as an American National Treasure. I trusted with God’s guidance and help I could accomplish my goal and then I just went for it, staying focused until I succeeded in accomplishing my goal. Here is part of the letter I wrote to my fans at the end of 2006! I hope you enjoy the letter! Peace and love all around Calvin Earl
“I will be sharing with you my efforts & personal journey as I continue to invite the US Congress to preserve the African American spirituals as a national treasure. In addition I will also share with you my experiences as I take my one-man show “Gifts From My Ancestors” across America in hopes of drawing national attention to the extraordinary legacy of our ancestors.
I’m pleased to report that on March 28, 2006 United States Senator Robert Menendez (NJ) submitted to the Senate, Senate Resolution 407 to declare the African American spiritual a national treasure. And on May 2, 2006 the twin resolution was submitted in the House by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT) & Congressman John Lewis (GA) House Resolution 790.
In my efforts so far I have also obtained 113 cosponsors for this legislation in the House including the Speaker Of The House, Nancy Pelosi and the entire Congressional Black Caucus & 10 cosponsors in the Senate including Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Edward Kennedy, Elizabeth Dole, and Joe Biden just to name a few.
I also have been successful in obtaining endorsements for this legislation from the:
Dr. Dorothy Height – National Council of Negro Women
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – Harvard University
Dr. Cornel West – Princeton University
Dr. Clement Price – Rutgers University
Dr. Art Jones, University of Denver
Dr. Samuel Roberts – Columbia University
Michael Cogswell – Director of the Louis Armstrong House and Archives
As it stands today, the next step in my ongoing efforts to ensure this legislation is brought to a vote, it is necessary to resubmit the legislation to the 110th US Congress. I’m pleased to report that Senator Robert Menendez & Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro will resubmit the legislation to the 110th Congress in February 2007 in conjunction with Black History Month.
This landmark legislation is vitally important because without it, we as citizens of this nation stand to lose a significant historical segment of our national heritage. This legislation provides our nation the opportunity to recognize and honor the former enslaved African Americans for their contributions to our nation including the historical significance and beauty of their original music best known as the African American Spirituals with our deepest gratitude and respect.
Today you and I are faced with a choice. Do we or don’t we preserve the African American spirituals as a national treasure? I say we must. And I invite you to join with me to ensure the original music and the oral history created by the slaves are included in our history books and that they are held in the highest esteem as an American national treasure. I believe it is time we honor all of the gifts from our ancestors.”
Peace & Blessings,