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Black Music Tribute Lifts Hearts in the White House

June 01, 2002|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — President Bush nodded along to the Duke Ellington classic "Take the 'A' Train" Friday as he marked Black Music Month by inviting a black high school choir to sing at the White House.

Joined by his wife, Laura, Bush heard a string of songs, including signature Ellington hits such as "Mood Indigo" and "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," sung by students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, a Washington high school that focuses on urban youth.

Speaking to a largely black audience in the White House East Room, Bush paid tribute to black music from spirituals and gospel to jazz and the blues.

"The spirituals always had that power to move, and they always will. The people who first sang them...knew the worst of human cruelty and earthly injustice," Bush said.

"In the black American experience, there has been a lot of pain

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