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Dedicated to Music important for music scholars

Roland Wiggins, Mus.D, said, "Every seriously creative African-American musician, whether aware or not, owes the deepest possible debt of gratitude to church musicians in general: but especially to musicians such as those who are profiled in Dedicated to Music. This accurate, scholarly, and highly informative book deserves widespread educational use,
and its authors a joyous song of praise." Fast fact: the Smithsonian featured Henrietta F. Robinson in the exhibit, "Piano 300: Celebrating Three Centuries of People and Pianos."
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Featured title

Dedicated to Music: The Legacy of African American Church Musicians and Music Teachers in Southern New Jersey, 1915 to 1990

Buy in our online store to save 35%.
ISBN 978-0-9653308-4-8 (hardcover), US $24.95
Softcover reprint will be available soon.
November 1997.
208 pp.

Dedicated to Music

Book Description (Annotation)

The book’s focal point is Henrietta Fuller Robinson’s delightful narrative. Inspired by her great love for music, she engaged in this art form for virtually the entire ninety-three years of her life. In southern New Jersey she spent almost sixty years fashioning an extraordinary professional music career, functioning as music teacher, pianist, organist, choir director, and talent promoter. Remarkably, she was also the very last active music teacher from her generation of multi-talented, classically trained black church musicians. The biographical dictionary encompasses the diverse experiences of thirty-two of Henrietta’s peers, church musicians and music teachers who sustained southern New Jersey’s African American musical traditions for nearly all of the twentieth century. Clement A. Price’s insightful essay, “Composing The Community: Blacks Making and Teaching Music in Southern New Jersey,” succinctly captures the historical relevance of these native born and Great Migration New Jerseyans, within the local, regional, and national context. Substantial documentation of a cross section of music professionals aptly completes this edifying study.

About the Authors

Henrietta Fuller Robinson
Henrietta Fuller Robinson

A Philadelphia native and long time resident of southern New Jersey, the late Henrietta Fuller Robinson was noted for her remarkable sixty year career as a music teacher, pianist, organist, choir director, vocalist, and talent promoter. Formerly an elementary school teacher in the New Jersey public schools, she self-published Stories of New Jersey, a coloring book for children, My Jerseyland, a brief illustrated history of New Jersey, and a song lyric, My Jerseyland, A Prayer For Our State. Dedicated to Music was the crowning glory of her lifetime achievements.
   Robinson was born on Catharine Street in Philadelphia on April 14, 1904, and later grew up on Bainbridge Street, near 17th Street. Her parents were Hercules Alexander Fuller, of Norfolk, Virginia, and Jane (nee Booth) Fuller, of Baltimore, Maryland. Henrietta graduated from the Philadelphia Normal School in 1925. Her first teaching assignment in New Jersey was in Elk Township. While working at the school, she enrolled in Glassboro State College and earned a State Teaching Certificate for Elementary Education. Her subsequent public school teaching positions were in the Lawnside Public School and Camden public schools.
   In 1925 Robinson studied voice with Marian Anderson for one year. In 1932 she joined the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Music Project and studied piano pedagogy at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. In the WPA program, she taught piano and voice in the city's settlement houses from 1933 to 1937. She also taught music privately in her home and in several programs.
   Henrietta was 89-years-old when Carolyn Williams started working with her to produce Dedicated to Music. Her narrative details her entire music career, including her role in the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM), various churches, and organizations and ends with her semi-retirement in the early 1990s. Henrietta died February 2, 1998.

Carolyn Cordelia Williams

A native of Cherry Hill, formerly Delaware Township, New Jersey, Carolyn Cordelia Williams grew up in the home that her grandfather purchased in 1913. Since leaving a rewarding career in research and clinical science, she has worked as a writer, editor, technical writer-editor, independent historical researcher, lecturer, trainer, project director, not-for-profit organization manager, and entrepreneur. She also is a student of music and performance arts, through private study since age 5, and at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia and the Jazz in July program in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her artistic credits include performances as a violoncellist and vocalist in secondary school, New Jersey churches, the University of Pennsylvania, the African American Museum of Philadelphia, the New Jersey State Fair, and other venues.
   Williams has conducted research at more than 50 archives and libraries throughout the United States, Nova Scotia, Canada, Barbados, Anguilla, and England. Williams is the co-author of scientific papers, and the author of feature articles on African-American and African-Canadian history. Her auspicious entry into publishing commenced with her founding of Africana Homestead Legacy Publishers and the issuance of this title. Her current project is researching and writing a biography of musician Carl Rossini Diton.
   From 1989 to 2000, Williams led community cultural organizations that focused on preserving black history and life. She was a co-founder and first president of the African American Genealogy Group of Philadelphia and served in that position through 1992. During her three year tenure, she developed a lecture series and research training groups, and initiated an archives project that is now housed at the Germantown Historical Society. Williams was also a member of the African American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) in Washington, DC., and served AAHGS briefly as an officer.
   In June 1991, Williams co-founded and was the first president of the United States Colored Troops Memorial Committee, Inc. (USCTMC), a 501(c)3 organization that provided public history and art projects on the military and civilian contributions of African Americans during the U.S. Civil War. With grant funding from the state of Pennsylvania USCTMC gave an adult education program at the three regional branches of the Philadelphia Free Public Library. Williams also co-designed and directed the installation of Black History Month and Women’s History Month exhibits for use at the New Jersey State Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey, the Belmont Mansion in Fairmount, Park, and several Delaware Valley libraries. Serving as the USCTMC president and CEO for seven years, she lectured frequently on African American Civil War history and performed as a historical reenactor at local schools and non-profit organizations. This included presenting an encampment and vignettes at the Army, Navy, and Marine Museums in Independence National Park in Philadelphia on the Fourth of July in 1992 and 1993.

Clement Alexander Price
Clement A. Price

Clement Alexander Price is Professor of History and Director of the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience at Rutgers University, Newark Campus. Professor Clement A. Price, Ph.D., is a member
of the department of history at Rutgers University in Newark. He has taught urban history, public history, African-American history and the history of New Jersey for over three decades at Rutgers. In 1999 Price was named CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Professor of the Year
for New Jersey, and more recently he earned one of the highest faculty honors at the university when he was named Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History.He received the BA and MA degrees from the University of Bridgeport, and the Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He has served as visiting professor at Princeton University, the New Jersey City University, Montclair State University, and Fairleigh Dickenson University.
   A native of Washington, D.C., Price teaches courses that span American history, including the Development of the United States, Afro-American History, Civil War and Reconstruction, Intellectual History of Afro-America, Topics in the History of Newark, New Jersey, United States Urban History, History of the Civil Rights Movement, Memory and History, Senior Seminar in History, The Black Experience in Western Civilization, Paul Robeson and 20th Century Black Modernism, and Modern America. His courses draw upon current historiographical issues and debates and they encourage students to consider the past from several perspectives and the future of the past in public discourse.
   Clement Price is the author of many publications that explore Afro-American History, race relations and modern culture in the United States and in New Jersey, including two books Freedom Not Far Distant: A Documentary History of Afro-Americans in New Jersey and Many Voices, Many Opportunities: Cultural Pluralism and American Arts Policy. His essay, Been So Long: A Critique of the Process That Shaped “Victory to Freedom: Afro-American Life in the Fifties, appears in Kenneth L. Ames, Barbara Franco and L. Thomas Frye, Ideas and Images: Developing Interpretive History Exhibits. He served as the chief historical consultant for the Jewish Museum’s 1992 exhibition Bridges and Boundaries: African Americans and American Jews and for the 1998 award winning documentary film Chanceman’s Brothers & Sisters: The Origins of the 20th Century Morris County Black Community. He is completing a study of Afro-American cultural and social history in 20th century Newark, New Jersey, and a biography of Dr. Marion Thompson Wright, a pioneering historian of New Jersey race relations.
   Dr. Price served as the chairman and historical consultant for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s World Festival II-Inventing America: Memory, Work, and Spirit/A Festival of Pan African America in 1998-99. He is the consulting historian for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority’s forthcoming public arts and history project, the Civil Rights Garden at the historic Carnegie Library in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He also served as member of the New Jersey Governor’s Advisory Committee on the Preservation and Use of Ellis Island, is now a director of Save Ellis Island, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Arts.
    Price is the recipient of numerous academic and service awards and honors, including the Richard J. Hughes Award from the New Jersey Historical Commission and the Governor’s Alice B. Paul Award for Humanitarian Service. He is also the recipient of four teaching awards, including Teacher of the Year, Essex County College, 1969; Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Rutgers University, Newark College of Arts and Sciences, 1977; Henry J. Browne Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Rutgers University, University College, 1991; Rutgers University’s highest award for teaching, the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching, in 1991, and he is the 1999 New Jersey Professor of the Year, so designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He holds an honorary degree for his work as a public intellectual from William Paterson University and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Bridgeport.
   A past chairman of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Clement Price is currently president of the Board of Trustees of the Fund for New Jersey and the immediate past Vice President of the Advisory Board for the Newark Public Schools. In 1981, he co-founded, with Giles R. Wright, the annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series, a scholarly conference series held during Black History Month at Rutgers-Newark. He serves as director of the Series.
   On November 9, 1997, at Rutgers-Newark, he mounted the first major program of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, titled Memory and Newark, July 1967, which acknowledged in a public forum for undergraduate students and the larger community the memories of a cross-section of citizens who witnessed the Newark riots of thirty years ago. Among his most recent public programs, mounted with Giles R. Wright, are the conferences On the Meaning of Freedom, featuring Eric Foner and Chinua Achebe, and, in February 2000, Time…Africa and the Diaspora, which featured Ali Mazrui, Sterling Stuckey, Anne McClintock, Steve Colson, Reggie Workman, Oliver Lake, and Andrew Cyrille, and Every Wise Woman Buildeth Her House: Sisterhood in the Black Church, which was presented on February 17, 2001 at Rutgers-Newark.
   Visit here for more information on Clement Price.


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