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Friday, November 3

Didn't He wake you this morning? So what are you complaining about?

A great paradox is that the African slave trade brought to America a singing tradition that slaves and their descendents made into the spiritual backbone of the United States. Given the prevalence of slavery throughout the old world it's a mystery to me why only the United States was so richly blessed, beyond calling it an alchemy of African roots, a welter of Protestant Christian sects, and the American veneration for improvisation.

And something else, hard to put into words. While African descendents of slaves in America made personal testimonies of woe into the Blues art form, they also made gratitude the centerpiece of Gospel singing.

So the Gospel outlook runs counter to the Social Justice one that now dominates American Protestantism -- social justice is based on helping victims, but where are victims among God's children?

The Dixie Hummingbirds - "I've Got So Much to Shout About" at Newport Folk Festival 1966

Posted to YouTube by DasPackenvonBand, December 2013. (2 minutes 13 seconds.)

The Dixie Hummingbirds are an influential American gospel music group, spanning more than 80 years from the jubilee quartet style of the 1920s, through the "hard gospel" quartet style of gospel's golden age in the 1940s and 1950s, to the eclectic pop-tinged songs of today. The Hummingbirds inspired a number of imitators, such as Jackie Wilson and James Brown, who adapted the shouting style and enthusiastic showmanship of hard gospel to secular themes to help create soul music in the 1960s. ...[Wikipedia]
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