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Say Amen, Somebody

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You can learn a good amount about the history of black gospel music, and a small amount about the history of black culture in general, without having to yawn over a book. With the 1982 documentary, Say Amen, Somebody, shown in conjunction with the To Conserve a Legacy: American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities exhibit, you get to hear gospel music pioneers themselves chat about their respective pasts as if you're the one sitting there asking the questions. Thomas Dorsey (pictured), Willie Mae Ford Smith and others discuss gospel's evolution from an activity deemed inappropriate at black churches and suitable only at revivals, to a commercially successful and popular form of entertainment. You'll also get an earful of classic gospel tunes that'll have your toes tapping and your hands waving. See it at the Center for Documentary Studies Tuesday night and it might just get your heart pounding fast enough to work off all that holiday grub. See "Special Showings" for details.

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