Recent WMU Choir Concert Under Fire for Cultural Insensitivity
Western Michigan University student Shaylee Faught took to Twitter immediately following a WMU choir concert on February 19th. Although the concert, titled "Spirituals: From Ship to Shore,” was produced by guest artist John Wesley Wright, who is Black, Faught saw problems with the predominately white choir singing songs such as Wade in the Water. Faught uploaded a clip of the performance she'd filmed on her phone to the social media platform and soon saw many rallying behind her with their support. According to an article from the Atlanta Black Star, the clip, which has more than a million views, was met with comments such as "This is not the move. They probably feel so good about themselves,” and “Chiiiilee wtf do they think they doing, This the top of damn disrespectful." She soon followed her tweet up with a letter to WMU officials. A music major herself, the lack of diversity within the music program at Western has not gone unnoticed by Faught who went on the record to WKZO, quote, "While I understand the importance of education, I think there is a fine line between appreciation and appropriation, and the concert last night seemed very inappropriate."
WMU officials are taking the "student's concerns very seriously."