Chariot in the Sky A Story of the Jubilee Singers

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Chariot in the Sky A Story of the Jubilee Singers by Bontemps, Arna; Lewis, David Levering; Ward, Andrew, 9780195156584
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  • ISBN: 9780195156584 | 0195156587
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 5/2/2002

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Written in 1951 by Arna Bontemps, major literary figure of the HarlemRenaissance and close friend of Langston Hughes, Chariot in the Sky tells thestory of the Jubilee Singers through the life of a young slave boy, Caleb, whobecomes one of their earliest memebers. Caleb is a teenage slave sent toCharleston, South Carolina, to apprentice a tailor. Through careful listeningand observation, Caleb diligently teaches himself to read and write. He alsodiscovers his musical talents and develops into an accomplished singer.When the Civil War begins, Caleb is sold to a shopkeeper who takes him toChattanooga, where he becomes smitten with a free black girl and follows her toFisk University, a new institution for former slaves in Nashville. Here Calebgrows into his new identity as a free man and receives the esteem and respectthat he is due. And he becomes a member of the Jubilee Singers, who becomemusical ambassadors to the world, promoting education for free blacks andraising money for the struggling new Fisk University. Singing mostly spirituals,the Jubilee Singers become so popular with white audiences that they are invitedto tour Europe and Great Britain where they perform for Queen Victoria--an honorCaleb could never have imagined as a slave in South Carolina. Chariot in the Skyis the exhilarating story of one boy's transformation from slave to free man.In the foreword, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Levering Lewis reflects onhis experience as a student at Fisk University and the legacy of the originalJubilee Singers. Andrew Ward, author of Dark Midnight When I Rise, a history ofthe Jubilee Singers, provides a fascinating description of the Jubilee Singers'rise to stardom. His essay is illustrated with photogrpahs, concert posters, andprograms of the Jubilee Singers from the archives of Fisk University.spirituals

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