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Mon, Sep 19


Berea College

"Songs of Slavery and Emancipation": Book and CD Release

New CD and book by Mat Callahan featuring our founder, Givonna Joseph. Both CD and book will soon be available on our website. More info at

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"Songs of Slavery and Emancipation": Book and CD Release
"Songs of Slavery and Emancipation": Book and CD Release

Time & Location

Sep 19, 2022, 7:00 PM

Berea College, 101 Chestnut St, Berea, KY 40403, USA

About the event

On this CD, Ms. Givonna Joseph reads the extant Creole lyrics to Quarra Saint Malo (Dirge of Saint Malo), a song about the 1784 execution of Slave Revolt leader, an escaped enslaved person, and Maroon leader, Jean Saint Malo (also known in Spanish as San Malo). The execution was in front of what is now Jackson Square.  

At the CD release, Ms. Joseph will also sing the melody she composed for the song.

Kathy Bullock and Mat Callahan

In 2015 Mat Callahan discovered a song composed and sung by enslaved people preparing an insurrection in South Carolina in 1813. The lyrics were explicitly revolutionary and unlike any other Negro Spiritual he’d ever heard. He realized immediately that this song posed many questions: what if there were more songs like this? Why hadn’t we heard them or heard of them before? If slaves were planning an insurrection in 1813, what other revolts were there? And why wouldn’t there be songs about these revolts or rebellions? Music was obviously important to Africans enslaved in America and rebel songs would have been more likely part of their repertoire than not. These questions inspired the search that led to the discovery of more such songs and the making of Songs of Slavery and Emancipation release of our CD and book, both of which will soon be available on our website.

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