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Dr. Leela Miller's Fundraiser:

The Negro Spiritual Project; A Lost Art

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BENEFITING:

Dr. Leela Miller

THE STORY:

The Negro spiritual, a uniquely American art form, is credited by some cultural commentators for the survival of African American people through slavery, Jim Crow, racism and the civil rights struggle. It speaks poignantly of a people’s belief in God’s ability to protect them and propel them into a better future. Often, against all odds, the musical idiom known as the African American spiritual, gave those who struggled against injustice the faith and strength to keep moving forward.

Recognizing the value of the Negro spiritual, not only to African Americans but to the entire country, the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) has invited a foremost expert on the subject to create a documentary series:

The Negro Spiritual Project; A Lost Art.

Noted expert, Dr. Leela Honeysucker-Miller, is seeking the support of corporations, civic organizations, churches, faith groups and progressive individuals for the production of this exciting series. In it, she will guide viewers on an exploration into the roots of the music of the Black church and its role in helping African Americans restore and preserve the dignity, values and pride of their forefathers.. The primary focus will be the origins of the Negro spirituals and their relationship to present day music and African American life and culture, within the church and community.

Viewers will be moved by performances by such luminaries of the genre as

* Gospel Artist Dr. Bobby Jones of Bobby Jones Gospel ;
* Actress and Dancer Debbie Allen;
* Actor and Academy Award Winner Louis Gossett Jr.;
* Gospel Recording Artists Darius Brooks, Melvin Williams, Marvin Sapp, Lamar Campbell, Walter Whitman, Charles Woolfolk. Sweet Honey On The Rock, The Sounds Of Blackness, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Pilgrim Jubilee Singers, Beverly Crawford; Recording Artist Melba Moore, and a virtual hall of fame of gospel recording artists, including Rev. Richard Smallwood and Vision,
* Texas Southern University Choral Director, Dr.. Clyde Owen Jackson.
* Bringing their artistic and cultural perspectives to the project will be composer/performer/producer, Quincy Jones, poet Maya Angelou, and director/ producer/writer Spike Lee.

Committed to providing their analysis of the role of spiritual and gospel music
in African American life and culture are experts such as

* Harvard University professor, Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.,
* authors and cultural commentators Dr. Cornel West and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake, Pastor of New York’s Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral and others.

A profound documentary experience with implications for contemporary culture, this project requires and deserves your support. In addition to restoring respect for traditional African American values and mores, the Negro Spiritual project seeks to:

* Preserve this unique art form
* Promote the study of the lyrics and meaning of spirituals and gospel music
* Explore the origin, meaning and historical values represented in Negro spirituals
* Educate a new generation to the profound lyrics and musical creativity of the spirituals and gospels
* Generate an inter-generational dialog about the legacy contemporary popular music owes to the creators of gospel music;
* Provide an analysis of the cultural significance of gospel and spiritual music to African American culture;
* Develop and disseminate collateral publications to promote appreciation and study of the spirituals and gospel music;
* Educate youth and the public about the composers, writers, musicians and lasting contributions of the spirituals and gospel music;
* Create awareness of the relationship of this traditional music to the struggle for emancipation, civil rights and political and economic advancement of a people;
* Promote a dialogue about the impact of this historic art form on the future advancement of African Americans.

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Dr. Leela Miller

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