The Fisk Jubilee Singers, renowned for introducing negro spirituals to the world were honored with a historic marker unveiling at Fisk University on Wednesday, Nov. 15. The marker is located on the side of historic Jubilee Hall to commemorate the Singers and their departure from campus in 1871 to tour the United States and abroad to raise funds for Fisk University.
“Today Fisk University is vetry pleased to celebrate a reqard and acknowledgment by the Tennesee Historical Commission , the historical significance of the Fisk Jubilee singers,” said Reavis L. Mitchell, Jr., Dean of the School of Humanities. “The Fisk Jubilee Singers were the first group from Nashville, Tennessee to carry the music of spirituals to the world. It was the activities of the jubilee singers that bought this land and raised the funds to pay for the Historic Jubilee Hall.”
The marker was unveiled Joining more than 40 markers on the Fisk campus.
As one of the world’s foremost a cappella ensembles and the premier performers of the Negro spiritual, The Fisk Jubilee Singers specialize in performing songs originally sung by slaves prior to the Civil War. Under the leadership of Dr. Paul Kwami, associate professor of music, the Singers have performed in renowned venues such as the Apollo Theatre, the historic Plymouth Congregational Church in New York, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institute, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, The White House, and have also been awarded a National Medal of Arts.
“It is such an honor to have a historic indicator placed on campus commemorating the history and efforts of The Fisk Jubilee Singers and their significant role in the history of Fisk University,” said Dr. Paul Kwami, associate professor of music.
Founded in 1866, shortly after the end of the Civil War, Fisk University is the oldest institution of higher learning in Nashville, Tennessee. Fisk’s outstanding faculty and students continue to enhance the University’s national reputation for academic excellence, which is validated year after year by the leading third party reviewers, as well as, by the pool of talented applicants and the large percentage of alumni who complete graduate or professional degrees and become leaders and scholars in their fields.