- Who Is Singing This Song? The Glide Ensemble 5:15
Okay, this isn’t gospel, but the Glide Ensemble IS a gospel choir…and more. I love this because I love the essence of the work. The poetry is by Janice Mirikitani (see below) presenting her two works “Who Is Singing This Song” and “Bad Women”. I LOVE “Bad Women”…worth a second (or third) listen. Back to true gospel tomorrow.
Glide Memorial Church is a church in San Francisco, California, affiliated with the United Methodist Church, which opened in 1930. Although conservative until the 1960s, since then it has served as a counter-culture rallying point and has been one of the most prominently liberal churches in the United States. Glide is also famous for its Gospel Choir and numerous social service programs. Its contributions to the community have been recognized by public figures such as Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Clinton; as well as Warren Buffett, who contributed the value of an auctioned lunch on eBay.
Janice Mirikitani (born February 4, 1941) is an American Sansei poet and activist. She was born in Stockton, California, to Shigemi and Ted Mirikitani, who were Nisei farmers in San Joaquin County. During World War II, she was interned along with her family at the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas. Following the war, the Mirikitani family moved to Chicago. After her parents were divorced, Janice was brought back to a chicken farm at Petaluma, California, with her mother, where they would be near the remainder of their family. During the time that followed, Janice Mirikitani became the victim of sexual molestation by her step-father up to the age of sixteen,and was saved from suicide only by the love and care of her grandmother. She would later speak of the pain of her incestuous abuse through her poetry.
Janice attended UCLA, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. During this time, she struggled with her ethnic identity, which she would later portray through her poetry. After gaining her teaching credentials, she taught in the Contra Costa School District for a year. She worked at Glide Memorial Church in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco as an administrative assistant.
After two years of activism for Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in 1969 she became the program director. In 1982 Mirikitani was married to Reverend Cecil Williams. That same year she was chosen as the president of the Glide Foundation, where she was responsible for fund raising and budget oversight. In 2000, she was named the second poet laureate for the city of San Francisco. The California State Assembly named her Woman of the Year for the 17th Assembly District