“O Holy Night” heralds Black Justice and Equality

Oppressors must kneel at the birth of peace and love
By Thomas L Blair 23 December, All Rights Reserved

Mahalia Jackson /Getty Images

O Holy Night’ is one of the most popular Christmas carols. Comforting, yes. But reinvented, the venerable festive words hold a hidden liberation meaning.

In 2020 the inhumanity is so clear. Powerful forces bear responsibility for the surging pandemic and economic pain. Their policies seem firmly aligned against the needs of people, the planet and the common good.

But O Holy Night has a special meaning for African Diaspora communities plagued by unmet needs and historic inequality.  Firstly,  it is a freedom song of hope and liberation.

Secondly, the mighty forces “in sin and error” must kneel to the new-born gospel of Love and Peace. “Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother, And in his name all oppression shall cease”.

Joyful and triumphant, many Black  music stars have celebrated this redemptive song.  They include the American “Queen of the Gospel” and civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson,  Nat King Cole, Jennifer Hudson, Whitney Houston and the Alex Pascall Singers in Britain.