April 27, 2011

Choctaw Freedman composed official gospel song

Native American’s composition becomes official gospel song of Oklahoma

By Windsor GenovaThe Oklahoma House of Representatives unanimously passed on Monday a bill making "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" as the state’s official gospel song.

"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" was composed by Choctaw freedman Wallis Willis in 1862 and was popularized by the African-American a cappella ensemble named Jubilee Singers during a nationwide and Europe tour to raise funds for the bankrupt Fisk University in the 1870s.
Comment:  For a similar example of state recognition, see New Mexico's Official State Necklace.

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