Sit In, Stand Up and Sing Out!: Black Gospel Music and the Civil Rights Movement

civil rights movementBy Bob Marovich

Michael Castellini made ample use of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project at Baylor University, and the counsel of gospel music historian Professor Robert Darden, to write his Master’s thesis on gospel music and the civil rights movement.

In “Sit In, Stand Up and Sing Out!: Black Gospel Music and the Civil Rights Movement,” Castellini argues that many components of the African American church and  church community, in addition to black sacred music, helped fuel the flames of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

The thesis is an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable read, providing a great deal of thoughtful analysis on the role of the African American church and gospel music in the freedom movement.

Special thanks to Mr. Castellini and Georgia State University for allowing the Journal of Gospel Music to share the link below, where you can download the thesis for free as a PDF:

About Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.


  1. Great scholarship–I very recently cited Castellini in two lit reviews.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.