Monday March 10, 2014
From The Bay State Banner
Sweet Honey in the Rock celebrates decades of song
By: Kevin C. Peterson
The concert on Sunday night at Boston Symphony Hall began with the mellifluous signing of “I’m Going to Stand,” which is a fitting statement for the a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock. The powerfully performing feminist group is celebrating its 40th anniversary in concerts across the U.S.
Sweet Honey has become a national institution not only because of its longevity, but because it has for decades put to soothing tune the importance of black femininity and human rights with precision.
An all-female black group, Sweet Honey is a masterpiece performing ensemble, a vehicle that chronicles the life of the nation from a black women’s perspective. In song, they talk about problems of childhood neglect and spousal abuse. But they also speaks to the high notes of American democracy — the Civil Rights Movement and the 1970s women’s liberation campaigns.
Sweet Honey is a group that is at once cheerful, inspiring and awfully serious — dispatching social wisdom with direct calmness and a caring interest in politics and change.
The group embraces the Civil Rights Movement with a tenacity that is touching and reveals how Sweet Honey is anchored in social protest in the way the Peter Seeger or Joan Baez were — true believers that song could be a prayer and a call to a certain kind of revolution.
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