“There were no mirrors in my nana’s house.”
This is one of the first sentences our daughter has been able to read. I am pleased that her voyage into literature has started so gracefully.
"There were no mirrors in my nana's house, no mirrors in my nana's house ... And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun)."
“No mirrors in my nana’s house,” is a song featured on the Still on the Journey CD by Sweet Honey in the Rock, an acappella ensemble of seven women. "No mirrors in my nana's house" also serves as the soundtrack for a 2004 animated short film with the same name that Nick, Jr. continues to run occasionally. The film features an adorable little girl who joyfully dances around her nana’s house.
Sweet Honey in the rock, formed by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon in 1973, has been dripping with the nectar of the soothing hymns and spirituals of the black church to the soulful rumblings of jazz and blues since the group's inception.
Reagon, a longtime civil rights activist, was a charter member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee Freedom Singers, and was suspended from Albany State College in Georgia because of her involvement in SNCC.
In the liner notes for the group’s 20th anniversary album, Still on the Journey, Reagon eloquently writes:
We are warriors. Our songs, sounds and lyrics give us stance—make clear the ground we hold. We name through our singing the territory of the expanding community we sound. When you see our songs, you see the tip of the mountain upon which we stand and it is solid ground.
After 30 years of leading and singing with the ensemble, Dr. Reagon retired from Sweet Honey in the Rock in February 2004, but these women continue to carry on the magic of the rich African American singing traditions. If Sweet Honey in the Rock happens to land in your town, don’t miss an opportunity to receive a rush of love, spirit, and lush sounds.
Click here to find out if Sweet Honey in the Rock is planning to spoon out some sweet songs in your town. Click here to read the lyrics to “No mirrors in my nana’s house.”
The members of Sweet Honey in the Rock, pictured above are: (Left to right) top row: Aisha Kahlil, Shirley Childress Saxton, Louise Robinson. Middle row: Carol Maillard, Arnaé, Nitanju Bolade Casel. Front: Ysaye Maria Barnwell (author of “No Mirrors in My Nana’s House”).