SOURCE: The Spirituals Project

The Spirituals Project

April 26, 2013 17:35 ET

Dr. Reiland Rabaka to Discuss African American Music as Soundtrack for Popular Movements, Historical Episodes

R E A P National Conference on the Spirituals Set for June 13-15 at the University of Denver

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - Apr 26, 2013) - African American movement music -- from the spirituals to rap music and hip hop -- will be the focus of Dr. Reiland Rabaka's featured presentation during the R E A P National Conference on the Spirituals June 13-15, 2013 at the University of Denver. Dr. Rabaka will explore each major form of popular African American music -- including the blues, ragtime and jazz, bebop, gospel, early rock & roll, soul and funk -- as a soundtrack for a broader African American popular movement or historical episode. His analysis underscores that African American music is more than music: it is an often-overlooked repository of African American history, culture, politics, and inspiring democratic social visions.

Organized by The Spirituals Project in collaboration with the University of Denver, the R E A P Conference is designed to facilitate dialogue between professionals and the general public from around the country about preserving and revitalizing the multi-layered cultural legacy of the spirituals. The event offers interactive workshops and presentations on diverse topics including music, education, health and healing, literature, history, religion, culture, and social justice.

The R E A P Conference schedule is available online at Conference registration is open online at

Dr. Rabaka is an associate professor of African, African American, and Caribbean Studies in the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Humanities Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is also an affiliate professor in the Women and Gender Studies Program and a research fellow at the Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America (CSERA). He also holds graduate faculty appointments in the College of Music, School of Education, Department of Sociology, and Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

R E A P stands for the four pillars of Research, Education, Activism and Performance, which are central to the mission and guiding vision of The Spirituals Project. The Spirituals Project is an award-winning secular, non-profit organization established in 1998, with administrative offices on the University of Denver campus. Its mission is the preservation and revitalization of the music and teachings of the songs commonly known as "spirituals," created and first sung by enslaved African women and men in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Spirituals Project operates a number of community-based programs involving performance and education, including regular concerts by its renowned 75-member multi-ethnic, multi-generational choir. The organization also maintains a popular online educational resource, Sweet Chariot: The Story of the Spirituals, which provides information and guides for further study about the multifaceted history and cultural impact of the spirituals tradition. For more information on The Spirituals Project, please visit or call 303-871-7993.