[ambient music] ♪ My brother prayed for me ♪ ♪ He kept me on his mind ♪ ♪ He took the time to pray for me ♪ - My mom, she was a choir director.
♪ I'm so glad he prayed.
♪ - We're so connected when it comes to the music.
♪ I'm so glad he prayed ♪ ♪ I'm so glad he prayed for me ♪ [women laughing] - Okay.
We just want to do a quick check-in with everyone just to see how you all are doing.
I know of some people that have been impacted by COVID.
So anybody want to jump in?
- Well, hello friends, my family, close and extended, are all healthy.
I did have this week, the death of the first person I knew well from COVID and I'll be hosting a Zoom memorial for him.
- Our son, Dan, you know, lives in a group home.
He has developmental disabilities and one of the staff members was identified, was tested positive with COVID.
So, please say prayers, Ben, he's such a source, source of joy for us.
[child giggling] - Let's do it again.
- You want to do it again?
- Mia, would you like some orange juice?
- Yes please.
- My name is Dulcey Davis and I live in Durham, North Carolina.
- You got here fast!
Hey girl, what's up?
- Kara Williams and I, along with our good friend, Eric Doescher, created the One Human Family Choir.
One Human Family is a multi-racial, multi-faith, multi-generational choir that focuses on unity.
- When Delcey had the idea of gathering together anybody that we had sung with and putting them on a bus and taking a tour of the deep south and talking about race, I was like, "Well, let's go."
[laughing] [singing choir] But we quickly realized that there was some tensions within the group These little agitations and riffs that come up.
They're always the result of something bigger.
- We realized we've got to figure out how to create spaces where people feel like it's okay to talk about race.
So we created these workshops that combined music with dialogues on race.
At the beginning of 2020, we were in the middle of planning a week long race unity celebration in collaboration with the city of Durham and other faith organizations.
And then the pandemic happened.
Mia, can you ring the doorbell?
- Hello, hello.
Music brings me a little closer to God.
Whatever problem I'm having, it kind of fades away into music.
Lets me know that there's a light.
Did all this stuff I'm going through.
It's just going through it.
When the choir starts singing and everybody up shouting, dancing, the benches would vibrate, and you just went to sleep on the vibrating benches.
- I was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, and when I was eight, we moved to a close knit rural community in a neighboring county.
It was there that I realized that my family was different.
When I was in the fourth grade my dad brought me to school one day and a kid came up to me and said, "Oh, your dad's a cracker and you're an Oreo.
", and I knew he wasn't talking about food.
Who my dad is complicated.
On my dad's paternal side his grandfather was from India and his grandmother was Waccamaw and Lumbee Indian, black and Irish.
My dad's mom was Cherokee and white, but she was raised by her Cherokee and black aunts.
It was like this melting pot.
And they'd say, no, he's white.
He looks like Jesus.
It was hurtful because it kept coming up all the time at school.
It was during that time that I really started turning to music.
Then all of a sudden I am in this space and nothing else matters.
When I got to college I met people of many faith backgrounds, including people from Baha'i Faith, and they believe we're all part of one human family and that was something that really stuck with me.
- Even though I know like things are getting better it still feels like a lot of it is just the same thing, just better disguise.
- Is it weirder now because you're not singing with other young people, like now that we can't get together in person?
Does that seem just odd?
- I don't like to do it alone.
I started hearing from the choir members and they're like, you know, everybody is missing singing together.
Because the choir had been so normal and a part of my life.
It wasn't until it was taken away that I'm like I don't have that outlet.
So, how are you doing?
- You know, I'm hanging in there.
It's a little bit, it's a little bit rough.
We started saying, okay we're going to figure out how to use Zoom.
We're going to use the Zoom and to the best of our abilities, and so we would have everybody mute themselves and we would go through the parts.
- When we're having virtual rehearsals because of the latency in the technology.
We can't sing together.
It's a hot mess.
Go back to one.
Shout, shout, shout.
Okay, so you can't watch me because I'm going to throw you off because there's a delay from when you see me and when you hear me, right?
So it's a different experience.
It's like singing into a vacuum.
We can't hear each other, so we can't feed off of each other.
We can't feel each other's energy.
- Don't be afraid.
- Ba-ba, ba da-da.
- Ba-ba, ba da-da - I'll take it.
[laughing] Singing this allows me to touch everything that's inside whether it's good or bad and get it out.
Singing together in a group, you know, it's like now we're releasing and growing and stretching and loving together and to not be able to do that was just another devastation on top of all the devastation that 2020 was ripping on us in the first place.
- The first officer approached the driver.
- When I watched the video, when George Floyd was killed, and then I went back and watched Ahmaud Arbery getting gunned down, and I think for the first time I wasn't angry.
Like I've been when I seen stuff or I'd experienced stuff, I was really sad.
- It was like every moment and time where I've experienced or witnessed someone else experiencing this injustice just rolled all into me at one time.
And it was just completely overwhelming.
And I think the sadness came from a place of feeling like why haven't things change.
All these years we've been trying, and where are we?
[singing] - There's so many things that, dealing with with a lack of justice today.
And I was thinking about how I think the reason why all this is happening because it's the time for that to happen.
- There are many videos out there of people coming together, showing love.
- Something different is happening, and I've, I've also been finding that in my workplace which I just wanted to say that I'm grateful for this group and I'm really hopeful for the world, and I want to stay connected with you all.
- Really hope that from this.
- I began to realize that we are seeing incremental change and I have to continue to sing.
I have to continue to have a voice.
[Choir singing] [Clapping] - It's good to see you guys, thanks for getting on.
I can't make it to your rehearsal.
I've got a racial justice forum that evening.
You know, I was listening to the conversation and it sounded like people were saying I'm zoomed out, but really what we're saying is we're more connected than ever before, and I think God, that's obviously part of God's plan.
Although we were able to get together on Zoom.
Hashtag not the same.
Something but not what we're used to having, and so we decided to get everybody together for a family day.
[subtle saxophone music] - So much better than two dimensions.
Three dimensions is a lot better than two.
[woman singing] - There's something magical about having unity and the hearts of the people who are singing together, and this closeness and connect us to this family.
If we have heart to heart connections that allow us to be uncomfortable, then I think we can make some changes.
I hope that people will allow themselves to be in these kind of spaces where they can really break down these walls.
- I won't say that COVID did us a favor cause I'm still mad about the whole COVID of it all, but really, you know, if we were moving a little bit too slow.
Maybe COVID is God's way of saying speed it up people.
It has blasted through all the barriers of time and space.
There is no excuse anymore for us not to be branching this music out around the world because it's what we're being called to do.
♪ Now let us sing ♪ ♪ Sing till the power of the Lord comes down ♪ ♪ Now let us sing ♪ ♪ Sing till the power of the Lord comes down ♪ ♪ Lift up your head ♪ ♪ Lift up your head ♪ ♪ Don't be afraid ♪ ♪ Don't be afraid ♪ ♪ Now let us sing ♪ ♪ Sing till the power of the Lord comes down ♪ ♪ Now let us sing ♪ ♪ Sing till the power of the Lord comes down ♪ ♪ Now let us sing ♪ ♪ Sing till the power of the Lord comes down ♪ ♪ Lift up your head ♪ ♪ Lift up your head ♪ ♪ Don't be afraid ♪ ♪ Don't be afraid ♪ ♪ Now let us sing ♪ ♪ Sing till the power of the Lord comes down ♪ ♪ Now let us sing ♪ ♪ Sing till the power of the Lord comes down ♪ ♪ Now let us sing ♪ ♪ Sing till the power of the Lord comes down ♪ ♪ Lift up your head ♪ ♪ Lift up your head ♪ ♪ Don't be afraid ♪ ♪ Don't be afraid ♪ ♪ Now let us sing ♪ ♪ Sing to the power of the Lord... ♪ ♪ comes... ♪ [girl shouts] ♪ DOWN!