When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at a mass meeting at Holt Street Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL to kick off the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, it was before “5,000 hymn-singing blacks.” Those thousands of voices united in song, prayer, and protest show the power of black sacred song.
In "Nothing but Love in God’s Water: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement," gospel music scholar Robert Darden explores how songs and singers helped African Americans challenge slavery, subjugation, and oppression, and how those songs informed the civil rights movement.
Robert Darden, author of “Nothing but Love in God’s Water Vol. 1: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement” (The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2014). He’s also an associate professor of journalism and new media at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.