The Creative Underground Presents God's Trombones In Honor Of Black History Month

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

In honor of Black History Month, The Creative Underground and Bessie Smith Cultural Center will present a live dramatic/musical performance of African American literary classic, God’s Trombones. 

The event will be held on Sunday, Feb. 17, from 6–8 p.m. within the Bessie Smith Cultural Center’s Performance Hall.

God’s Trombones, collection of poems that refigure inspirational sermons by itinerant southern black preachers, was published in 1927 by one of the nation’s most prolific African American figures in the areas of law, education, music and literature, James Weldon Johnson. Johnson, who was a U.S. diplomat in Venezuela, the first secretary general of the NAACP and songwriter to “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (often referred as “The African-American National Anthem”) was inspired by the fiery black preachers he saw as a child while traveling through the South.

“I was inspired by Mr. Johnson’s array of talents, all of which he used in some form to help shape America’s history,” said Shane Morrow, director of The Creative Underground. “It is my belief that celebrating African American classics like “God’s Trombones” not only honors Black History Month, it enriches and educates our whole diverse community here in Chattanooga.”

God’s Trombones will feature the following distinguished community leaders and advocates together, for this one time performance, to give their renditions to the stirring passages; Anthony O. Sammons, Pastor Sheryl Randolph, Pastor Kevin Smith, Yolanda Mitchell, Lawrence Sneed, Pastor Ernest Tanner, Pastor Jeffrey Wilson and Sam Terry.

Rev. Jeffrey Wilson said, “I am a trombone, in the performance and also serve as chairman of the Board at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. This event is important to African American culture relative to traditional sermons of folk preachers and African American traditions in poetry and song including the wide range of emotions that are used in oratory. The Bessie Smith Cultural Center/African American Museum serves as the official place to experience African American Culture in Chattanooga.  A part of the event proceeds will help support the mission to preserve African American culture in Chattanooga and the region. It is very important for our youth and the community to participate and experience cultural traditions.” 

Tickets are available at The Bessie Smith Cultural Center; $10 for adults, $8 for children over 10 and $8 for a group of 8 and more.  

For more information on the God’s Trombones performance, go to or call 423 266-8658 or 423 402-0452. 

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