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This Little Light of Mine

Of unknown origin, John Lomax and Alan Lomax cataloged the earliest known recording of This Little Light of Mine in June 1934 when they recorded Jim Boyd of Jacksonville, Texas, singing at the State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Harry Dixon Loes, who studied at the Moody Bible Institute and the American Conservatory of Music, wrote a popular adaptation of the song in the 1940s. Employed by voting activist and community organizer Fannie Lou Hamer, and others, it eventually became a Civil Rights anthem in the 1950s and 1960s (Eric Deggans, 2018). The song, which has simple, repetitive lines with only one change per verse, lends itself to communal singing. This iconic song encourages us to be a light in a global community longing for peace, justice and freedom.