GALLIPOLIS — “Soul music” is African-American music that comes from a place deep inside a person’s core.
Nothing reflects that concept more consistently than the black music and culture that will be presented Feb 21 during “A Stony Road” at the Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre in downtown Gallipolis.
The 2 p.m. performance is free and open to the public.
The Ariel Children’s Chorus and the Washington Elementary C.A.T.S. Choir will provide the musical links in the story of Dr. Edward Bouchet with commentary by Elaine Armstrong. They will offer up songs about perseverance and persistence (Battle Hymn of the Republic) and songs about seeking freedom, a better life and better opportunities (When You Believe). The songs are a reminder that at the core of the African American existence is God and that one is never alone (Let us Break Bread Together). No matter how stony the road (Follow the Drinking Gourd), how many rocks and ruts one encounters, it always leads on (The Storm is Passing Over) and one is never alone and with God’s amazing grace, we can go on. (We Shall Overcome and Amazing Grace).
Elaine Armstrong will be telling the story of Dr. Edward Bouchet, the first African American to earn a PhD. from Yale. Dr. Bouchet was a brilliant academic always at the head of his class who had a desire to teach at the university level, but was prevented due to his skin color. He did have a distinguished teaching career and towards the end of his career, taught and was principal at the all black Lincoln School in Gallipolis.
February was selected as Black History month largely because of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12 and Frederick Douglass’ birthday Feb. 14.