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Chariot in the Sky: A Novel of the Jubilee Singers

Bontemps, Arna

3 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0195156587 / ISBN 13: 9780195156584
Published by Oxford Univ. Press, Cary, North Carolina, U.S.A., 2002
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From citynightsbooks (Allston, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First printing of this edition. Grey cloth binding, gilt titles. Fairly sophisticated young adult novel about a group of nine African-American singers and a pianist that, in the late 19th century, performed in Europe and Great Britain, including for Queen Victoria. With an Afterword by Andrew Ward. illustrated with some historical documents. Unread, as new in like DJ. 240 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 2655

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Chariot in the Sky: A Novel of the Jubilee ...

Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press, Cary, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: 1st Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title


Written in 1951 by Arna Bontemps, major literary figure of the Harlem Renaissance and close friend of Langston Hughes, Chariot in the Sky tells the story of the Jubilee Singers through the life of a young slave boy, Caleb, who becomes one of their earliest members. Caleb is a teenage slave sent to Charleston, South Carolina, to apprentice a tailor. Through careful listening and observation, Caleb diligently teaches himself to read and write. He also discovers his musical talents and develops into an accomplished singer.

When the Civil War begins, Caleb is sold to a shopkeeper who takes him to Chattanooga, where he becomes smitten with a free black girl and follows her to Fisk University, a new institution for former slaves in Nashville. Here Caleb grows into his new identity as a free man and receives the esteem and respect that he is due. And he becomes a member of the Jubilee Singers, who become musical ambassadors to the world, promoting education for free blacks and raising money for the struggling new Fisk University. Singing mostly spirituals, the Jubilee Singers become so popular with white audiences that they are invited to tour Europe and Great Britain where they perform for Queen Victoria--an honor Caleb could never have imagined as a slave in South Carolina. Chariot in the Sky is the exhilarating story of one boy's transformation from slave to free man.

In the foreword, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Levering Lewis reflects on his experience as a student at Fisk University and the legacy of the original Jubilee Singers. Andrew Ward, author of Dark Midnight When I Rise, a history of the Jubilee Singers, provides a fascinating description of the Jubilee Singers' rise to stardom. His essay is illustrated with photographs, concert posters, and programs of the Jubilee Singers from the archives of Fisk University. spirituals,

About the Author:

David Levering Lewis is at Rutgers University.

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