Tammy Kernodle to Perform at Baylor in Celebration of Black History Month

Jan. 19, 2018

WACO, Texas (Jan. 19, 2018) – The Pruit Memorial Symposium Committee and the Baylor University Libraries are excited to announce "She Sang Freedom," a one-of-a-kind performance featuring artist and storyteller Dr. Tammy Kernodle on Feb. 8. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium and a reception will be held afterwards.

“We're excited to feature "She Sang Freedom" as one of Baylor's signature events for Black History Month. She is that rare award-winning academic who is also a gifted musician and singer," said Robert Darden, professor of Journalism, Public Relations & New Media at Baylor University. "She is also a long-time friend and fan of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project. She has been one of our strongest advocates in the academic world and has advised on numerous occasions."

For her performance, Kernodle will sing the songs of Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Mavis Staples and Roberta Flack. Several freedom and protest songs will be experienced through live performance and stories.

"These black women musicians used music as a means of documenting and promoting the struggle for equality and social justice in America," said Kernodle. "Be ready to experience the story of various historical contexts from slavery, to the Civil Rights Movements, to the proliferation of the Black Power movement in the 1970s."

She Sang Freedom is made possible by the Pruit Memorial Symposium Endowment. It is also co-sponsored by by American Studies; Communication Studies; Department of History; Department of Journalism, Public Relations & New Media; Black Gospel Music Restoration Project; College of Arts & Sciences; School of Music; and Truett Theological Seminary.

“We're very grateful for the sponsors who help make this event possible,” said Kathy Hillman, associate professor and co-chair of the committee. “These interdisciplinary partnerships enrich the academic and creative communities by fostering an avenue to celebrate Black History Month.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.baylor.edu/library/freedom. Those wishing to help promote this event may email Carlye_Thornton@baylor.edu for publicity materials.


Tammy L. Kernodle is a specialist in African American Music and gender studies in music, currently serving as Professor of Musicology at Miami University (Ohio). She is a graduate of The Ohio State University with an MA and PhD in Music History.

Dr. Kernodle is a nationally known researcher and lecturer, specializing in African American music, whose work has been published in Journal of the Society for American Music, Black Music Research Journal, American Studies Journal, U.S. Catholic Historian, and Musical Quarterly.

She has acted as co-editor of the Encyclopedia of African American Music as well as senior editor of African American music for the 2013 updated edition of New Grove Dictionary of American Music. Apart from her lecturing at Miami University (Ohio), she has acted as the Scholar in Residence for the Women in Jazz Initiative at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Missouri while lecturing on the works of William Grant Still and Mary Lou Williams.


The Pruit Memorial Symposium at Baylor University brings the perspective of Christian intellectual tradition on contemporary issues of common concern. Through the articulation of differing views within the realm of Christian understanding, Baylor aspires to be a locus for a distinctly Protestant and Christian worldview that is true to the best thoughts in Baptist tradition. In 1996, Ella Wall Prichard and the late Lev H. Prichard III of Corpus Christi established the Pruit Memorial Symposium Endowment Fund in memory of Helen Pruit Matthews and her brothers, Dr. Lee Tinkle Pruit and William Wall Pruit.


Baylor University is embarking on the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project with director Robert Darden, an effort to preserve black gospel music recordings from the "golden age of gospel" from 1945-1975. To date the project has preserved over 3,600 records and was recently included as part of the standing exhibits in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.