For so long, everyone who has experienced the feeling of being in bondage has longed for their own Freedom. So it was for many, many men and women who were stolen from Africa centuries ago to become slaves here in America. As music became a safe way to worship God and also express hope for ending slavery in America, the Negro Spiritual was born. They expressed Joy and Hope during a time when practically all Black people were in bondage!
Three Negro Spirituals were combined into what is now called The Freedom Trilogy that expresses so vividly this hope for Freedom.
Though it is still hard to believe, the Black people of Texas were not told that they were now free and were not so call “freed” until June Nineteenth of 1865. It is now called Juneteenth or Freedom Day, and is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans throughout the former Confederacy.
After over 150 years have passed, I still sing the Freedom Trilogy as it still so vividly expresses our longing for Freedom in our lives that one day we all will be truly free.
Van Gilmer, renowned soloist, composer, and director, is a native of Greensboro North Carolina, and graduated from NC Agricultural & Technical State University with a BS in Architectural Engineering. During that early period, he was also directly involved in the sit-ins of the 1960’s to...READ MORE