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Recognizing The African American Spiritual As A National Treasure

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


RECOGNIZING THE AFRICAN AMERICAN SPIRITUAL AS A NATIONAL TREASURE -- (House of Representatives - February 07, 2007)

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Mr. SIRES. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 120, which recognizes the African American spiritual as a national treasure. The slave Africans who came to the European colonies were forbidden to speak their native languages, use African musical instruments, or practice their spiritual beliefs. To keep their African traditions alive through songs and stories, the slaves created a new kind of music. Today these are known as spirituals.

Mr. Calvin Earl, my constituent from Jersey City, has devoted his entire life to educating people about the history and the importance of African American spirituals. He started a program called The Gifts from My Ancestors. Through songs, dances, and storytelling, this program has helped people experience the story of enslaved African Americans.

Mr. Speaker, I commend Mr. Earl for his work, and I believe it is time to recognize the importance of these spirituals and preserve them for future generations by voting in favor of H. Res. 120.

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