IT’S GOSPEL SUNDAY AT THE MYERHOFF

FRED HAMMOND (Gospel singer/composer at the Meyerhoff)

What denominations are they placed in? Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal? Blacks, African Americans fall into all the aforementioned categories; and believe it or not, the slave trade is responsible.

No need for me to rehash the Atlantic Slave Trade, Africans singing out to God to save their lives. The slave owner at times was also the Sunday morning preacher. I call it the double enslavement: in the field, and in the church.

In a white Baptist church, the congregation looks tired when it sings, not nearly the same as in a black Baptist church. Why? The remnants of those horrible days and nights crossing the Atlantic, with chains on their feet and hands, have followed the succeeding generations to today.

Most African Americans in church, can be heard shouting out loud, MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE! Based on Psalm 100. “Come before his presence with singing”.

This singing enabled many slaves to look beyond the running blood, and large wounds inflicted upon their bodies, as they crossed the Ocean, to the so-called New World.

Black Gospel in association with World Vision to save African babies.

It was at the Meyerhoff Concert Hall in downtown Baltimore MD., that I had a look and feel of the power of the Gospel. It was a three-hour concert, where patrons wanted to stand rather than sit. Where part of the musical impact turned the audience into a congregation with raised hands, and shouts along with whispers of praise. The Meyerhoff felt like a slave ship (HOPE), [one of the American ships that brought slaves to Rhode Island]. Black bodies swaying with eyes closed, clenched fists, and voices trying to sing in unison with the choir leaders, FRED HAMMOND and HEZEKIAH WALKER.