Mahalia Jackson (October 26, 1911 – January 27, 1972) was an American gospel singer, widely considered one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century. With a career spanning 40 years, Jackson was integral to the development and spread of gospel blues in black churches throughout the U.S. During a time when racial segregation was pervasive in American society, she met considerable and unexpected success in a recording career, selling an estimated 22 million records and performing in front of integrated and secular audiences in concert halls around the world.
The granddaughter of slaves, Jackson was born and raised in poverty in New Orleans. She found a home in her church, leading to a lifelong dedication and singular purpose to deliver God's word through song. She moved to Chicago as an adolescent and joined the Johnson Singers, one of the earliest gospel groups. Jackson was heavily influenced by blues singer Bessie Smith, adapting her style to traditional Protestant hymns and contemporary songs. After making an impression in Chicago churches, she was hired to sing at funerals, political rallies, and revivals. For 15 years she functioned as what she termed a "fish and bread singer", working odd jobs between performances to make a living.
Nationwide recognition came for Jackson in 1947 with the release of "Move On Up a Little Higher", selling two million copies and hitting the number two spot on Billboard charts, both firsts for gospel music. Jackson's recordings captured the attention of jazz fans in the U.S. and France, and she became the first gospel recording artist to tour Europe. Motivated by her experiences living and touring in the South and integrating a Chicago neighborhood, she participated in the civil rights movement, singing for fundraisers and at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. She was a vocal and loyal supporter of Martin Luther King, Jr. and a personal friend of his family.
Her success brought about international interest in gospel music, initiating the "Golden Age of Gospel" making it possible for many soloists and vocal groups to tour and record. Popular music as a whole felt her influence and she is credited with inspiring rhythm and blues, soul, and rock and roll singing styles.
Person To Person: Interview with Mahalia Jackson and others (1958)
Mahalia Jackson Interview (1963)
Mahalia Jackson Interview (1971)
Mahalia Jackson Documentary
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Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology (Excerpt)
by Paul T. Nicholson and Ian Shaw (Editors)
Aimed primarily at Egyptologists and archaeologists, this book covers all aspects of craftwork in ancient Egypt, from the construction of the pyramids and the carving of statues to techniques of mummification, boat-building, jewelery making, ancient brewing, carpentry, hairstyling, tailoring and basket weaving. Drawing on archaeological, experimental, ethnographic and laboratory work, it is the first book since the 1920s to describe current research into the actual basics of life in Pharaonic Egypt
The Birds of Ancient Egypt (Excerpt)
by Patrick F Houlihan
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The Eloquent Peasant
Excerpt by Miriam Lichtheim
First published in 1973, this anthology has assumed classic status in the field of Egyptology and portrays the remarkable evolution of the literary forms of one of the world’s earliest civilizations. Beginning with the early and gradual evolution of Egyptian genres, it includes biographical and historical inscriptions carved on stone, the various classes of works written with pen on papyrus, and the mortuary literature that focuses on life after death. It then shows the culmination of these literary genres within the single period known as the New Kingdom (1550–1080 B.C.) and ends in the last millennium of Pharaonic civilization, from the tenth century B.C. to the beginning of the Christian era.
The Nine Petitions of the Farmer Whose Speech is Good
Excerpt by Jacob Carruthers
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Translating Wordplay in the Eighth Petition of The Eloquent Peasant: A New Interpretation
by Dr. Mario Beatty
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Celestial Sphere in Ancient Egypt
by Dr. Mario Beatty
In reading the introductory hymn to the sun-god Ra in the Papyrus of Ani, attention of authors was immediately attracted by the Egyptian word psdw. Neither of the major dictionaries of the ancient Egyptian language (LESKO, 1982; FAULKNER, 1991; Woterbuch de ERMAN et GRAPOW (1926) have this word with the determinative of the sun. In this paper, they show that it is an astronomical term which means the celestial sphere. (ANKH ARTICLE: N°4-5, 1995-1996 (PP. 215 - 221)
On the Source of the Moon's Light in Ancient Egypt
by Dr. Mario Beatty
In this article, the author shows that the Ancient Egyptians seem to have discovered that the moon shines, but it does not shine from light of its own. It is borrowed light from the sun. In revealing this observation in Ancient Egypt, the author focuses on the Great Hymn to Thoth on the statue of Horemheb and selects passages from the Book of Coming Forth By Day. Based on Ancient Egyptian astronomical observations in these texts, there is significant evidence to conclude that they definitively observed during the New Kingdom (1600 B.C. - 1080 B.C.) that the source of the moon's light derived from the sun. In concluding, he briefly highlights the importance of this discovery relative to the history of astronomy. (ANKH ARTICLE: N°4-5, 1995-1996 (PP. 163 - 177)
Martin Delany and Egyptology
by Dr. Mario Beatty
Abstract: Martin Robinson Delany (1812-1885) was clearly the first African-American to attempt to visually present, transcribe, and translate Egyptian hieroglyphs in a text entitled Principia of Ethnology: The Origins of Races and Color, with an Archaeological Compendium of Ethiopian and Egyptian Civilization from Years of Careful Examination and Enquiry (1879). There has never been any research conducted on descriptively understanding the method and significance of his effort to translate Egyptian hieroglyphs. The purpose of this paper seeks to present a philological and historical examination of his effort to translate Egyptian hieroglyphs historically contextualized as a response to the impact of the famous “American School of Ethnology” and one of its prominent members, George Robins Gliddon, an amateur Egyptologist who played a foundational mediating role in introducing Egyptology and the work of Champollion to American audiences in the nineteenth century. (ANKH ARTICLE: N°12-13, 2003-2004 (PP. 78-99)