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Posted on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 : 5:10 p.m.

Our Own Thing Chorale spirituals at Ann Arbor District Library Sunday

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

King School’s International Night was launched in grand style this year by its Gospel Choir singing “This Little Light of Mine.” Somebody’s little sister snuck onto stage with them and with pacifier in mouth clapped and cheered and danced right along with the older elementary school students. Sometimes she faced forward, sometimes she faced backwards, she got most of the hand motions right, and then she shoutedout “Yay!” before the song was even done. Gospel is infectious like that.

This Sunday is the last day of African American History Month, and what better way to celebrate it than with music. Under the direction of Dr. Willis Patterson, emeritus professor of voice and the University of Michigan School of Music's first African American professor, the Our Own Thing Chorale will perform a program of Negro spirituals and contemporary African American compositions at the Ann Arbor District Library, downtown branch, 343 S. Fifth Ave., from 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for, and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her Web site at, her blog at, or reach her at