Sweet Honey in the Rock
Subjects for Further Research [1980s]: Six politically correct black women, including one who signs (that is not a typo). The other five, er, vocalize, unaccompanied, except occasionally by yet other politically correct black women singers. Until they led and nearly stole Columbia's Folkways tribute, I found their congregation suspect and their lack of a backbeat fatal. But on 1988's Live at Carnegie Hall, and quite possibly elsewhere, they join as beautifully as vintage Persuasions or Miriam Makeba overdubbing Sangoma. And "Are My Hands Clean?," for instance, is ideologically stringent enough to make even a good lefty like myself wince a little.