The Fisk Jubilee Singers® originated as a group of traveling
students who went out in 1871 to raise funds to support the debt-ridden school. The
original group carried the entire contents of the school's treasury with them
to pay for their travel expenses with the goal to raise enough money to keep
Fisk's doors open. The singers were so successful that they continued to travel
throughout the U.S. and Europe popularizing the Negro spiritual and entertaining
audiences that included William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Ulysses S.
Grant, William Gladstone, Mark Twain, Johann Strauss, and Queen Victoria. The
contemporary Jubilee Singers still tour today. Each year, on October 6, Fisk
celebrates "Jubilee Day" in remembrance of the day that the original singers
left for their first tour. The Fisk library holds a large collection of
photographs and artifacts related to the singers and has created an exhibit
called, "Lord, I'm Out Here on Your Word: The Fisk Jubilee Singers® From Spirit to Spirit, 1871 - " The exhibit is on
display in the Special Collections department until the Spring of 2017.