Try African-American Songs for a Cultural Wedding
Today, Western traditions are frequently embraced at
the expense of practices that embody the African-American
wedding. Even in Africa brides are increasingly turning
their backs on centuries-old conventions and opting
for Western-style weddings. One of the first traditional
elements to be replaced is music.
For most couples, choosing wedding music means giving
the DJ a list of popular radio hits. Using African-American
wedding music is a dynamic way to celebrate one’s
heritage. The roots of African-American music offer
many different genres from which to choose.
The spiritual, a significant genre in American music,
is a strong choice for a Christian ceremony. Some spirituals
are uplifting professions of faith, while others mournfully
search for hope beyond the circumstances of today. Singing
a spiritual is an inspiring way to kick off a joyous
occasion. Take, for example, the hymn “A Little
More Faith in Jesus”: This song speaks over and
over again of "a little more faith in Jesus,"
no matter what happens to the person during his / her
day. It's quite positive.
The blues are another uniquely African-American style.
Some will argue that the blues bring unwanted melancholy
to a jovial occasion. But it’s important to realize
that early blues music manifested the feelings of freed
slaves in America. Like spirituals, many songs that
have a sad origin work well in the context of a blissful
Consider “Can't Help Lovin’ Dat Man”
from the musical Show Boat. In the story, the heroine
loses her man. But on your wedding day, he's all yours.
The lyrics convey a lovely conceit: “Fish gotta
swim / birds gotta fly / I gotta love one man 'til I
die / So I can't help lovin' dat man of mine”