Oral history interview with Bennie Williams, 1999
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Bennie Williams recounts her early experiences of growing up, and attending grade school, high school and college in Marshall, Tex. She discusses how spirituals were an integral part of the church she attended, but that it was not until she was in college that she considered the differences between hymns, spirituals and gospel. She relates her experiences in teaching spirituals, from directing high school choirs performing at the Black Teachers Association meetings in Tex., to teaching in Denver, Colo. public schools including George Washington High School and Hamilton Middle School. She discusses the issue of whether or not students can appreciate a spiritual without knowing its historical content, and believes that her students could relate to spirituals in terms of their own personal experiences and the hope that spirituals embody.