Advert for an appearance of The Fisk University Jubilee Singers, On This Day 17th (and 16th) December 1897, at the Streatham Town Hall (Look and Learn)
The tradition of excellence at Fisk has developed out of a history marked by struggle and uncertainty. Fisk's world-famous Jubilee Singers® originated as a group of traveling students who set out from Nashville on October 6, 1871, taking the entire contents of the University treasury with them for travel expenses, praying that through their music they could somehow raise enough money to keep the doors of their debt-ridden school open.
The singers struggled at first, but before long, their performances so electrified audiences that they traveled throughout the United States and Europe, moving to tears audiences that included William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Ulysses S. Grant, William Gladstone, Mark Twain, Johann Strauss, and Queen Victoria.
To this day, each October 6, Fisk pauses to observe the anniversary of the singers' departure from campus in 1871. The contemporary Jubilee Singers, a Grammy recipient group, perform in a University convocation — and conclude the day's ceremonies with a pilgrimage to the grave sites of the original singers, where once again, the old songs are sung at the burial places of their first performers. (Fisk University)
Interesting article: Spiritual journey: the freed slaves who took gospel to the world in the Guardian
Source: Jubilee Singers at the Court of Queen Victoria by Edmund Havell. Photograph: Fisk University Library