Chicago Sound: The Birth of Modern Gospel

Be Woke Presents Black History in Two Minutes (or so)

As Black families left the South, their migration allowed them to bring their religion and musical practices along with them. But it would be one man in particular, Thomas Dorsey, who would find himself in the middle of a Chicago community that was fertile with opportunities.

Dorsey recognized that at every corner sat either a blues spot, a jazz club, or a church. Submitting to the beautiful jingles around him, he fused together the sounds and struggles of Black people and went on a tour to introduce his newfound genre called gospel. With his innovative outlook, gospel found its way into pulpits in Chicago.

In this episode of Black History In Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. — with additional commentary from Rev. James Bryson, Jr. of First Church of Deliverance, Imani Perry of Princeton University, and Fredara Hadley of The Juilliard School, we take a look at how the Great Migration benefited Black people, leading to the creation of a new genre of music.

Black History in Two Minutes (or so) is a 4x Webby Award winning series.

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Archival Materials Courtesy of:
• Alamy Images
• Getty Images
• Library of Congress
• The New York Public Library
• The General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) of the United Methodist Church, Madison, New Jersey

Additional Archival by:
• Chicago History Museum
• University of Southern California Libraries

Executive Producers:
• Robert F. Smith
• Henry Louis Gates Jr.
• Dyllan McGee
• Deon Taylor

Senior Producer:
• William Ventura

Series Producers:
• Chinisha Scott
• William Ventura

Executive in Charge of Production:
• Robert L. Yacyshyn

Post Production Supervisor:
• Veronica Leib

Post Production Coordinator:
• Katherine Swiatek

Written By:
• Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Additional Writing:
• Kevin Burke
• Kelsi Lindus
• Chinisha Scott
• William Ventura

• Margaret Metzger
• Anne Yao

• Kevin Burke

Archival Producer:
• Megan Graham

• Zoë Smith

Assistant Editors:
• Patrice Bowman
• Nicholas Mastrangelo

Director of Photography:
• Nikki Bramley
• Nausheen Dadabhoy
• Stephen McCarthy

Graphic Design:
• Anthony Kraus

Special Thanks:
• Daina Ramey Berry
• Sam Hartley
• Elyssa Hess
• Stacey Holman
• Hasan Jeffries
• Peniel Joseph
• Imani Perry

Music By:
• Oovra Music

Be Woke presents is brought to you by Robert F. Smith and Deon Taylor.

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