A Charge to Keep.
With collaborators Ron Ragin and T.C. Roberts, Michaela has created the collaborative Spiritual Technologies Project. Spiritual Technologies Project seeks to generate, document, and transmit cultural practices that unify and transform individuals and groups of people. A Charge to Keep, which focuses on metered hymn singing in Southern Black churches, is the collaboratives’ first research and film project.
Metered hymns are an integral part of the ‘devotional,’ the song-filled opening of a service that prepares the congregation for worship. These songs illuminate the complications and contradictions of black Christianity in the United States. Metered hymns were both forced upon enslaved blacks as a colonizing tool and refashioned by black worshipers as a source of strength. A Charge to Keep opens a window into how the tradition lives in the 21st century and highlights the power of collective singing to enrich communities, in churches and beyond.
- September 2016