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Until All Are Free

January 21, 2019

Thank you, Ronnie

Ronnie McBrayer

JubileeIn the months following the Civil War a group met in Nashville, Tennessee to create a school for former slaves and the children of former slaves. Clinton Fisk, a Reconstruction-era bureaucrat, endowed the new enterprise with much needed funds and a collection of abandoned army barracks. What would become Fisk University was born, one of the oldest historically black colleges in the U.S., producing alumni like W.E.B. Du Bois, Hazel O’Leary, and John Lewis. 

It wasn’t easy for Fisk, an African American school in the Deep South of the late 1800s. Within a few years the fledgling institution hung on the precipice of bankruptcy. The music director – who was also Fisk’s treasurer and understood the grave financial crisis – organized a few of the students into a touring choir. 

They called themselves the “Jubilee Singers,” an appropriate name. “Jubilee,” described in the Hebrew Scriptures, came around once…

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