Susan Stewart
March 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

All for Freedom

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
genre
World

We gave it an A

This lovely anthology of African and Afro-American songs will make an excellent learning tool, but don’t let that scare you. All for Freedom may not hypnotize the way that, say, Raffi’s baby whales do, but it has other charms, and it’s definitely singable.

Sweet Honey in the Rock is a female quintet whose inspirations are African music and the civil rights movement. This, the group’s first kids’ record, is saturated with African style and ’60s attitude. This stuff may preach, but it also works as music.

Songs include the freedom chant ”If you’re all for freedom/Clap your hands” and the spiritual ”Amen.” A cappella arrangements are complicated enough to impress an adult and smooth enough to soothe a child. If there’s a current here, it’s that sadness breeds beauty. Is 5 too young to learn about such things? Not if you learn it from these songs. A

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