Press contact: Bibi Martí (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Kathy Woodrell (202) 707-0945

August 3, 2004

Author-Singer-Songwriter Ysaye M. Barnwell to Discuss "The Role of Song in the African-American Community"

Ysaye Barnwell, member of the singing group Sweet Honey in the Rock, will give a lecture at the Library of Congress titled "The Vocal Community: The Role of Song in the African-American Community" at noon on Thursday, Sept. 2. The lecture will take place in the sixth floor Mumford Room of the Library's James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C. This event is free and open to the public; it is sponsored by the Humanities and Social Sciences Division.

Barnwell's lecture will include a discussion of the functional evolution of vocal music, including field hollers, work songs, spirituals, blues, gospel and music of the civil rights movement within the African-American community.

Barnwell is best known as a performer with the internationally acclaimed a cappella singing group Sweet Honey in the Rock. She is also a singer, actress, teacher, choir director, community worker and health care professional. A vocalist with a range of more than three octaves, Barnwell has made more than 25 recordings with Sweet Honey, as well as with other artists. In her first year with Sweet Honey, Barnwell provided leadership in making the group's concerts accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing through sign language interpretation.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Division provides reference service and collection development in the Main, Local History and Genealogy and Microform reading rooms and sponsors lectures in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

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PR 04-145
08/03/04
ISSN 0731-3527

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