Dr. Francois Clemmons gave a performance lecture March 2nd at the First United Methodist
Church in Burlington. The talk, "If You Don’t Want Your Slave to Speak
Freely, You Should Forbid Him to Sing!" was both a history of slavery and a history of song.
Clemmons discussed the American Negro Spiritual and punctuated the presentation
with lively examples of songs, such as "On My Journey, Mount Zion" and
"I’m So Glad (Trouble Don’t Last Always)".
Popularly known for his role on Mr.
Roger’s Neighborhood as Officer Clemmons, Dr. Francois Clemmons was
founder and director of the world-famous Harlem Spiritual Ensemble.
This talk was part of Vermont Humanities Council First Wednesdays Lecture Series.