Voices of Imani
Voices of Imani is a student-based organization that is connected to the African and African Diaspora Studies Program. Membership in the organization is open to the entire BC student population and the group is quite diverse in its make-up. The group has toured various parts of the country during the spring break: Tennessee, Florida, Texas, California, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Georgia.
Go Down Moses is an African American spiritual that originated in the 1800’s during slavery, with the earliest written version found in 1853. Like many spirituals of that time, it was believed that this song was used to reference the Underground Railroad. Published by the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University in 1872, the song has various iterations, including a jazz version performed by Louis Armstrong in 1958.
History of Voices of Imani
The students chose the name Imani, the Swahili word for faith, as the name for their group. In choosing the name Imani, the students were recalling the lyrics of one of the great hymns of the black religious experience:
“We've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord, trusting in His holy word, He's never failed us yet.”
- Fall of 1977
Voices of Imani is founded
At Boston College n the fall of the 1977 a small group of black students feeling the need to be closely connected in their new academic environment, congregated to encourage and support one another by singing the songs of their religious tradition and to give praise to almighty God. The repertoire of the group is reflective of this great faith tradition in that it includes the breadth of musical expression in the black worship experience, i.e., spirituals, traditional gospel, contemporary gospel, as well as music of the European tradition.
- Fall of 1982
Professor Hubert E. Walters becomes Director of Voices of Imani
In the fall of 1982 Prof. Hubert E. Walters was appointed as lecturer in African and African Diaspora Studies and Music at Boston College, and was asked to be the musical director for the Voices of Imani. Professor Walters served as musical director until the spring of 2010.
Chauncey McGlathery named Director of Voices of Imani