Macon, Georgia: Fort Valley Normal Industrial School, 1938. Printed for a performance at the Macon City Auditorium on May 11, 1938. Broken Chains is a showcase of Black musical history shown in a series of scenes set in “Darkest Africa,” America in 1620, the antebellum South, and the United States after the Emancipation Proclamation. In the first scene, set in “Darkest Africa,” the performers “show African source of the rhythm and melody in the song and dance of the American Negro.” In the final scene, the singers perform Russian folk music and classical choir songs alongside James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to show how Black performers are “capable not only of singing the songs of their fore-parents but able to perform the works of the masters as well.”. Creasing and some foxing. A good copy of a rare and fragile item. Printed paper self-wrappers. 6 x 9 in.  pp. Item #17555
From the foreword: “The Negro is known everywhere for his singing. From bush to cotton field, from jungle to civilization, his progress has been marked by song…The world listens—sometimes with curiosity, sometimes with amusement, always with a response to the haunting melody of his songs. We offer them to you for their intrinsic beauty, their artistic worth, and for their triumphant progress from low grounds of sorrow to a place on the heights of creative art.” Fort Valley Normal Industrial School was founded in 1895 by a group of fifteen free Black men and three white men. The school trained Black teachers and served as a center of community organizing for both Black and white residents of Macon. The school, which still operates today as Fort Valley State University, has hosted figures like W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Muhammad Ali (“Fort Valley State University History,” FVSU website).
OCLC records no copies.