Music, Magic, And Mirrors with Ysaye Barnwell & Christina Fleming

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A dream came true for 23 year old Christina Fleming, when she got the opportunity to interview Ysaye Barnwell, a member of the Grammy award winning African American female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock. Experience her excitement as she and Barnwell discuss a myriad of topics, from the group's African roots to the magic behind the manifestation of dreams. Hear the deep, rich voice of Barnwell recite samples of her powerful and poetic lyrics, a voice that embodies both the strength and sweetness that this singing group symbolize. You'll discover why music of Sweet Honey in the Rock is more than just melody, harmony and rhythm - and how they have contributed to socially relevant causes for almost three decades. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Barnwell is an experienced choral director who holds a doctorate in Speech Pathology. She is a member of Sweet Honey in the Rock and has written some of this singing group's most popular songs.

She is the author of:

  • No Mirrors in My Nana's House (Harcourt Brace 1998) 

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What losing your mirror can do for your self-esteem
  • How African Indigenous music has impacted American music
  • The importance of working toward a society that reflects all of our differences
  • How and why it is so essential to be true to yourself
  • The best advice Barnwell has for the children of today
  • Insights on control, struggle, and remembrance
  • How Barnwell's multi-faceted career came together in song
  • What Africa taught Fleming about living in the moment
Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 1/31/2000        Program Number: 2805