More than 200 people attended “Showcase of Song: An African-American Cultural Celebration” on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Black History Month program was sponsored by the Winston-Salem Human Relations Commission. Performances by six choirs and a soloist demonstrated the link between African and modern-day African-American cultures through song, while Mayor Allen Joines and Human Relations Commission Chairman Michael Clinton offered remarks and perspectives.
Human Relations Director Wanda Allen-Abraha provided an overview, describing the link between tribes of Africa and the evolution of African-American culture. The nature of the songs featured in the showcase showed how both African slaves and their ancestors incorporated and relied upon hymnals and spirituals to endure hardship and inequality.
“The performers at our inaugural Showcase of Song really exemplified the enormous talent pool that we have here in Winston-Salem,” said Allen-Abraha. “I was blown away and absolutely speechless. We definitely plan to make this an annual event.”
Performers included the Paisley I.B. Magnet School African Drummers, the James H. Diggs Heritage Choir, the Voices of Galilee of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, the Napper Singers, the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Choir, the Renaissance Choir, the Kidane Mehret Ethiopian Orthodox Church of the Triad Choir and Nelson Roberts.