Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. John McMillian
Dr. Jacqueline Rouse
This thesis explores the relationship between black gospel music and the African American freedom struggle of the post-WWII era. More specifically, it addresses the paradoxical suggestion that black gospel artists themselves were typically escapist, apathetic, and politically uninvolved—like the black church and black masses in general—despite the “classical” Southern movement music being largely gospel-based. This thesis argues that gospel was in fact a critical component of the civil rights movement. In ways open and veiled, black gospel music always spoke to the issue of freedom. Topics include: grassroots gospel communities; African American sacred song and coded resistance; black church culture and social action; freedom songs and local movements; socially conscious or activist gospel figures; gospel records with civil rights themes.
Castellini, Michael, "Sit In, Stand Up and Sing Out!: Black Gospel Music and the Civil Rights Movement." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2013.