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Historical Society to Share Spirituals, Gospel Music

For many African-Americans during the 19th century, music literally helped thousands escape from slavery and endure the hardships that followed. On February 22, Dr. Virginia Perry and her daughter, Midge Perry Spencer, will relate the importance of music in African-American culture at the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society museum at 108 S. Seventh Street in Vineland.

Music easily helped to convey hidden messages to the slaves, making them aware of possible escape routes and any help that might be available along the way. Perry and Spencer will explore the history of spirituals, gospel music and more through their presentation and explain why the music’s message still resonates in the 21st century.

Last year, Perry and Spencer offered a very well-received presentation on the importance of food in African-American culture, after Perry compiled a book titled Soul Food Cooking.

Museum doors will open at 1:30 p.m. for light refreshments and the presentation will begin at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. For further information, please contact the Society at 856-691-1111 or