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Celebrating black music and culture

Image Credit: Junior Garr

Mary Croft, 22nd Oct 2020
Tags: Music Blog Culture Junior Garr Black gospel

As a white middle class female, I sometimes feel like I am stuck on how to stand with those around me who have faced injustice since before they were even born. What can I even do or say that will make any real difference?

I have come to realise that it is not about saying anything, it is about making a daily choice to do what the Bible tells me to.

Junior Garr & The Spirituals
Image Credit: Junior Garr & The Spirituals

It says to do justice, love kindness, walk humbly, and love my neighbour. When the Bible says to love your neighbour, it doesn’t just mean the person who lives next door, but it means every other person who you meet.

A spectacular performance, reimagining the spiritual anthem “Wade in the Water”.

Today, therefore, in tribute to black history month, I want to celebrate with you a neighbour. An amazing artist named Junior Garr, who has announced a spectacular performance, reimagining the spiritual anthem “Wade in the Water”, celebrating black music and culture.

This performance brings together a gospel choir that can only be compared to the likes of Kane West’s Sunday Service. If you haven’t already listened to the ‘Jesus is King’ album, what are you waiting for?

Junior Garr & The Spirituals
Image Credit: Junior Garr & The Spirituals

Junior is a London based artist, who has a passion for creativity, culture, music, and uses his art to express his fervent faith. Within just one year, his EP ‘The Garden’, which you need to go check out if you haven’t already, has reached 2 million streams on Spotify.

We are bombarded with a snapshot of fear.

When we turn on the TV, look at social media, or walk into a supermarket, we are bombarded with a snapshot of fear. People masked and grabbing the last bag of pasta on the shelf, people dying from more than one virus, article after article of reports criticising and putting people down, stories telling you that you aren’t good enough, and stories saying you are a victim.

The Bible says that although the world around us seems to be changing constantly, often seemingly in a disastrous downward spiral, we do not need to fear because God is on our side.

Junior Garr & The Spirituals
Image Credit: Junior Garr & The Spirituals

Junior has been inspired by his faith in the goodness of God to bring people together to raise their voice in unity and celebrate black lives, both historic and present. You can watch his visual masterpiece performance featuring The Spirituals here.

There has never been a better time for the power of music to bring us together.

In introducing the performance, he says, “This is a collection of negro spirituals and songs that have inspired and championed the story and of black people. With all that is happening in the world today there has never been a better time for the power of music to bring us together. 

"This is a commemoration of not only our breakthrough and achievements but also an acknowledgement of the continuous pain and sorrow experienced by Black people today… Justice and the good news go hand in hand.”

Junior Garr & The Spirituals
Image Credit: Junior Garr & The Spirituals

As a Christian, I believe that God has created the world and everything in it. I believe strongly that all of God’s creation is therefore designed and made wonderfully, especially people.

Stand up and speak joy.

I want to be someone who always celebrates this, standing with everyone and anyone who uses their voice and talents to stand up and speak joy; to say that life matters.

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