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BFSA hosts banquet, concert

Published: Sunday, January 27, 2013

Updated: Sunday, January 27, 2013 23:01

The East Tennessee State University Black Faculty and Staff Association will host its annual banquet, followed by the African Spirituals Freedom Prayers Concert, at 6 p.m. Saturday in the D.P. Culp University Center.

The banquet, planned in conjunction with Black History Month, begins in the Culp Center ballroom.

The concert will begin immediately afterward in the Martha Street Culp Auditorium in the Culp Center. It is open to the public, and the $35 tickets cover both the banquet and concert.

The African Spirituals Freedom Prayers Concert, one of Life As Art Productions’ most popular touring shows, incorporates spoken word, traditional dancing and soul singing.

It features many spirituals from throughout the history of the African American people, including “I’ll Fly Away,” “Walk With Me Lord,” “Down By the Riverside,” “Motherless Child,” “Go Down Moses,” “Kum Ba Ya,” “Lily of the Valley” and more.

The music demonstrates how African rhythms, slave chants and early black church hymns helped build faith, renew strength, nourish spirits and help many to survive.

The program also conveys how such songs as “Wade in the Water” and “Steal Away” were used to conceal escape itineraries and songs like “Oh Freedom” became rallying cries of the Civil Rights Movement.

The African Spirituals Freedom Prayers Concert has received support from the National Performance Network and Alternate ROOTS.

For tickets, more information or special assistance for those with disabilities, contact Dr. Keith Johnson at 423-833-4979 or

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