Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: The Sacred Music of the African American Diaspora

Women and Worship

African American women have been a crucial part of African American sacred music, playing pivotal roles in the advancement of everything from composition to performance. They have also lent their gifts and leadership skills to their churches.  Aside from music composition, many of these gifted and accomplished women have held prominent positions within the church, serving as choir directors, ministers of music, organists, pianists, and even ministers. These are just some of the most prominent and influential African American women who have impacted the growth and evolution of sacred music, many of whom have ties to Los Angeles and its sacred music traditions. They have each influenced and been influenced by each other and in studying their achievements as part of a larger whole, we can truly celebrate and appreciate the scope of the impact that they have had. These women rewrote the songbook of African American sacred music, changing the musical landscape and leaving a legacy for future generations.

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