White House Holds Concert for Black History Month

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WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress, civil rights leaders, and a host of others joined President Obama Tuesday night at the White House for a concert celebrating Black History Month.

An all-star line up of musicians including the Blind Boys of Alabama, Yolanda Adams, Smokey Robinson, Jennifer Hudson and others sang freedom songs in remembrance of the civil rights movement.

"It's been said that when Dr. King and his associates were looking for communities to organize and mobilize, they'd know which were disciplined enough and serious enough when they saw folks singing freedom songs," the president told the audience.

"Dr. King himself once acknowledged that he didn't see 'the real meaning of the movement' until he saw young people singing in the face of hostility."

At one point, the president joined everyone on stage singing the Negro national anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

He told everyone in attendance that the music from this era led the nation and provided hope during a time when people were being beaten and jailed and churches were being bombed.

"The civil rights movement was a movement sustained by music. It was lifted by spirituals inspired by the Bible," Obama said. "It was sharpened by protest songs about wrongs that needed righting."

The concert was supposed to be held later this week, but was rescheduled due to the winter storm pounding the nation's capital.

Special Page:

Black History Month

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