If You Don't Go, Don't Hinder Me: The African American Sacred Song Tradition

If You Don't Go, Don't Hinder Me: The African American Sacred Song Tradition

If You Don't Go, Don't Hinder Me: The African American Sacred Song Tradition

If You Don't Go, Don't Hinder Me: The African American Sacred Song Tradition

Synopsis

Founder of African American female a cappella ensemble, Sweet Honey in the Rock. Migration is the centering structure of four essays that examine different genres of African American sacred music manifested in the twentieth century.

Excerpt

If You Don't Go, Don't Hinder Me. I am leaving this place. I would like company. If I have to travel alone, don't get in my way. The phrase I have selected as the title for this collection of essays is drawn from African American oral tradition. The text captures a kind of tension I wanted when I thought about a way of centering this series of presentations in African American sacred music culture. The essays are based both on my archival and field research as a scholar in the history of African American culture and on my personal biography as an African American woman coming of age as a cultural activist, musician, and composer.

Each essay is in some way about change and movement. “If You Don't Go, Don't Hinder Me, ” drawn from African American oral tradition, is much more than a phrase, it is also a song I have heard and sung all of my life:

If you don't go, don't hinder me If you don't go, don't hinder me If you don't go, don't hinder me I'm on my way, great God, I'm on my way.

The text I have selected to name this collection is not in fact the first lines we would sing. First would come the overt declaration of leaving and going to another place:

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.