Thanks to long-time LGCSF member Deborah Cohler for being the dramaturg for our upcoming performance of Street Requiem. This post is based on her research.
During "Gloria, Anthem of Empowerment", the eighth movement of Street Requiem by Kathleen McGuire, a call and response ushers forth from the chorus. "Amandla!" "Awethu!" In the Xhosa language of South Africa, these words mean "Power" and "It's Ours".
As reported in the February 12, 1990 edition of the New York Times, Nelson Mandela led the crowd in this call and response at a rally in Cape Town, just after he was freed after being incarcerated by the Apartheid government for 27 years. You can hear the chant at 2:25 in this video of his speech.
LGCSF will be performing Street Requiem , a choral work remembering and honoring those who have died on the street, on November 2 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Tickets are on sale now.