Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

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tremity is God's opportunity," is an old proverb and it proved true here. The God who loves and honors faith has, in every crisis, a faithful servant. George L. White had the faith that moves moun�tains. He had heard the black boys and girls singing their peculiar songs. He was a musician. He felt a moving of his emotion as those weird melodies struck his soul; and, as they touched him, they would touch the world, for the world was himself multiplied over and over again. So these songs must be sung abroad, and men's hearts, touched and softened, would respond with interest. This accom�plished, Fisk School would be saved. But in the hearts of those black boys and girls there was the echoing of that thought, "The world cares not for our song." So it was with great difficulty that Mr. White could persuade his scholars to sing their songs in concert. Finally, through tact, patience, and the faith they had in him, he was successful. So he organized his choir and began his training. Even then it was only sometimes that they would sing their own songs. They preferred the white man's music. It soon became known that Mr. White was preparing to lead a troup of his singers into the world that the world might hear their songs. Immediately a mighty protest burst from the mothers and fathers, for to them these songs were sacred, their message-bearers from heart to heart, from here to Heaven. They were to be sung in the dewy dawn down in the valley, in the solitude, and to the far-off listening Heaven. In their hearts there echoed and re-echoed, "The world is not worthy of them."
Mr. Whiter vision, however, would not leave him, truly it haunted him. He saw Henry Ward Beecher standing up before his great congregation commending these singers and their songs to the sympathies of those who * listened in tears. He saw philanthropy pour out its money with its tears; he saw the scoffers bow their heads,and raise them up again with fairest words of praise. He saw the blue expanse of the broad Atlantic beyond which England's sor�rowing queen was speaking words of gratitude for the comfort these singers and their songs had brought her; he saw the palace in Potts-dam and the royal family listening with evident approval to these strange, new songs; he saw the nobles bringing gifts and the peas�ants and those in prison shedding tears and heaving sighs, more precious than frankincense and myrrh. He saw Fisk rise in the newness and strength of life. He saw his faith justified. All thi$