Sacred Harp singing, you say, is not a performance, is of, by and for the singers themselves. Why would you even dare to sing at a public vigil for a victim of gun violence?
I say, a vigil is a holy gathering, held in public, to express grief and ask for mercy.
Sacred harp singing is a holy act, is also a group activity, and expresses the cultural heritage of a certain segment of our community.
Vigils for victims of gun violence are most commonly held in our African-American neighborhoods, where the majority of deaths by gunshot occur.
When there were shootings at Columbine High School,
at Virginia Tech University,
at the Tuscon, AZ, supermarket parking lot,
at the Aurora, CO, movie theatre, and
at Sandy Hook Elementary School — the white community paid attention.
I say, let this one segment of the white community which loves Sacred Harp singing, bring our presence and our culture and our spiritual power to join with our African-American neighbors at any events we can. Especially at vigils for victims of gun violence.