IRCPL Receives Wilbur Award for Harlem Renaissance Radio Program
The IRCPL is pleased to announce that Rethinking Religion’s “The Harlem Renaissance—Music, Religion and the Politics of Race” Radio Series received a Wilbur Award. The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) announced 17 Wilbur Awards on March 1. The awards honor excellence by individuals in secular media—print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures—in communicating religious issues, values and themes during 2012.
During the Harlem Renaissance, music, religion, and spirituality were connected—not only in the church, but also in the jazz club. The public radio special “The Harlem Renaissance: Music, Religion, and the Politics of Race” combines music, archival audio, and guest commentary to explore this fascinating period in African-American history. (Listen here and at iTunes University.)
The 2013 awards are to be presented April 6 in Indianapolis during the 84th annual RCC national convention.
The Religion Communicators Council has presented Wilbur Awards annually since 1949. Secular communicators enter work in eight categories. Juries of media professionals, coordinated by council members across the country, evaluate submissions on content, creativity, impact and excellence in communicating religious values.
The award is named for the late Marvin C. Wilbur, a pioneer in religious public relations, longtime RCC executive director and former Presbyterian Church executive.
Hosted by Norris J. Chumley (Emmy Award winner, Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer), the first hour of “Rethinking Religion: The Harlem Renaissance—Music, Religion and the Politics of Race,” explores the influence of the Great Migration on Harlem, what it meant to be a “New Negro” in the 1920s, the emergence of new artistic and religious forms in Harlem, and the spiritual connections between the blues and gospel music. In hour two, guests discuss the emergence of the storefront church, the Harlem rent party, musicians’ roots in the church, and improvisation in music and the church service.
Guests include scholars Josef Sorett, Farah Griffin, Obery M. Hendricks Jr, Dan Morgenstern; Reverend Calvin O. Butts III of Abyssinian Baptist Church; Bishop Charles E. Wright of Greater Refuge Temple; artist and writer Carl Hancock Rux; musicians Courtney Bryan, Jose James, Sarah McLawler; and editor Malaika Adero. The episodes feature the voices of Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Zora Neale Hurston, plus music by Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald, and Mahalia Jackson, and more.
This radio special was developed in connection with IRCPL’s media project Religions of Harlem, organized by Josef Sorett and Obery M. Hendricks Jr.
Executive producer and host is Norris J. Chumley; producer is Jim Luce; writer is Sally Placksin (American Women in Jazz, What’s the Word?); consulting editor is Josef Sorett; technical director is Duke Markos (JazzSet with DeeDee Bridgewater, Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz); associate producer is Genevieve Luce; and managing editor is Emily Brennan.
“The Harlem Renaissance: Music, Religion, and the Politics of Race”
aired on the following select public radio stations: WNYC
(New York City); WBEZ
(Chicago); member stations of the African-American Public Radio Consortium
; Capital Public Radio
(Washington, DC); KCSM
(San Mateo); KCEP
(Las Vegas); WDUQ
(Wheeling, Pittsburg, Benwood); KLRE
(Little Rock, AR); WJAB
(Huntsville, AL); WCSU
(Wilberforce, OH); KSUN (Parachute, CO); KGRM (Grambling, LA); KSTK
(Wrangell, AK); WFSK (Nashville); WNIJ
(DeKalb, IL); WRVS (Elizabeth City, NC); WVAS
(Montgomery, AL); WSNC
(Winston-Salem, NC); WLRH
(Huntsville, AL); WSKG
(Binghamton, NY); WNJT
(Toms River/Seaside Park).