Jackson State hosts 2nd Annual Black History Cultural Explosion featuring Fisk Jubilee Singers

Jackson, Mississippi – The Jackson State University College of Liberal Arts and the Institute for Social Justice and Race Relations present the 2nd annual Black History Cultural Explosion beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 14th. The slate of events will include a performance by the Fisk Jubilee Singers from Fisk University in their first performance in the capital city.

“This is a very prestigious group of musicians who have paved the way for so many. We need to celebrate the history of African Americans and the lineage that has shaped us today. The singers are performing spiritual songs that influenced modern gospel,” said Assistant Professor of Music Ramon Jackson, DMA.

On Feb. 14th at 10 a.m., the Black History Cultural Explosion will showcase Western classical music, music and dance from Africa, spoken word, and presentations by student and university leadership. The audience will experience performances by MADDRAMA, the English Department, African Drum and Dance Ensemble, the University Chorale, the University Wind Ensemble, and the Fisk Jubilee Singers. This free event will be held in Rose McCoy Auditorium. 

Later, Fisk University Associate Professor of Music Anthony Williams, Ph.D., will host an hour-long master vocalist workshop in the F.D. Hall Music Center. The session will begin at 3:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public and the JSU community.

Then beginning at 7 p.m., the Fisk University Jubilee Singers will perform in concert at the Dr. Jimmie James, Jr. Recital Hall. The award-winning ensemble will perform Negro spirituals that showcase the African American history and culture. 

“Like the rich history that JSU has and the place within American history that Thee I Love holds, Fisk and the Jubilee Singers have such an amazing history, legacy, and future,” shared Chair and Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology Lisa Beckley-Roberts, Ph.D. “Our departments and the work of our institutions center our students and fostering them becoming artist activists. It is my hope that this will be the first of many collaborative efforts to do that work!”

Beckley-Roberts said these will be must-see that the community wouldn’t want to miss. She expressed how significant it is for HBCUs to cherish and preserve the progression and resilience of African Americans. 

“In every period of resistance, triumph, or achievement musicians and artists have been at the forefront for people of African descent. Artists are the storytellers in our community so it is only fitting that we host this celebration of the history of African Americans here at JSU,” said Beckley-Roberts.

For additional information about the Black History Cultural Explosion and the Fisk Jubilee Singers concert, please contact Assistant Professor of Music Ramon Jackson, DMA., at ramon.l.jackson@jsums.edu.