Last year I did a short blog on William J. Seymour in honor of Black History Month. This month I would like to remind you or introduce you to the Queen of Gospel music, Mahalia Jackson.
A couple weeks ago in service, our pastor shared that he had gone to a play that honored the life of Mahalia Jackson. He shared that what impressed him the most was that she absolutely refused to sing anything other than gospel music. As he shared, I remembered me as a teenager listening to my gospel album of her songs; songs like: Great Gettin’ Up Morning, How I Got Over, Didn’t It Rain, Joshua Fit the Battle…
That morning as one of our choir members sang one of her songs at the pastor’s request, it took me there, to that living room when my heart ached to know God better, where I would sing with all my heart the songs on the album as if I was singing with Mahalia on stage. Although, it’s not the type of music I listen to today, I can say that listening to her music back then caused me to love gospel music and to think of Jesus.
So today, I salute Mahalia Jackson of New Orleans, Louisiana for allowing God to use her gift to share soul stirring music that touched my heart and life and the lives of so many others. I believe if you don’t know of her courageous stand against racism, her success in spite of her challenges, her desire to honor God with her music even when everyone told her she could make more money singing secular music, her generosity in the fight for civil rights, her friendship and support to Dr. King, and her apparent love for God, then she is someone you should know. Wonderful Jesus!