Still on the Journey: Photographs from the First 20 Years of "Sweet Honey in the Rock"
When the acapella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock finishes a song, hands go up and raised wrists twist in the American Sign Language sign for “applause.” The group has a sign language interpreter and a significant following in the deaf community. That is especially true in Washington, DC, home to both Sweet Honey and Gallaudet University, which is dedicated to educating people who are deaf and hard of hearing. This exhibition marks two decades of Sweet Honey singing and signing in their hometown and around the world. Made up of African American women, Sweet Honey weaves complex harmonies and rhythms into traditional tunes as well as original compositions. Audiences attending their concerts are infused with history and empowered to continue on the journey for human freedom.
Nitanju Bolade Casel’s song, A Tribute, honors the twenty-one women who have been part of Sweet Honey in the Rock since 1973, naming them in order of joining the group: Bernice Johnson Reagon, Louise Robinson, Mie, Dianaruthe Wharton, Evelyn Maria Harris, Rosie Lee Hooks, Ayodele Harrington, Ingrid Ellis, Tia Juana Starks, Patricia Johnson, Yasmeen Williams, Laura Sharp, Tulani Jordan Kinard, Ysaye Maria Barnwell, Helena Coleman, Geraldine Hardin, Shirley Childress Johnson, Aisha Kahlil, Nitanju Bolade Casel, and Akua Opokuwaa.