When: Wed., Dec. 7, 7-8:30 p.m. 2016
Former Middlebury College Alexander Twilight artist-in-residence François Clemmons aims to preserve traditional African American spirituals. Moved by the American folksong form originated by African slaves, Clemmons founded the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble. The Grammy Award-winning opera singer once known for his recurring role as the friendly Officer Clemmons on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” explains how slaves’ experiences led to the genre’s formation. Clemmons shares his performance lecture “If You Don’t Want Your Slave to Speak Freely, You Should Also Forbid Him to Sing!” as part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series.