Black Women in Folk Music

Sweet Honey in the Rock

Sweet Honey in the Rock is an all woman, African American folk music troupe. They are a three time Grammy Award nominated group who use their history as not only women, but African American women to tell stories through music, dance and sign language. Originally there were only four members in the group but they later expanded to 5- part harmonies, with the sixth member being the sign language interpreter. Even though the members have changed, the group continues to share their craft all over the globe.

Sweet Honey in the Rock: Career

Sweet Honey in the Rock was formed in 1973 in Washington, DC by former leader Bernice Johnson Reagon. Reagon was teaching a workshop at the Black Repertory Company in DC. She retired from the group in 2004. The group’s greatest messages are told through a wide array of songs addressing global issues. Those issues include immigration injustices, congressional greed and lack of compassion for citizens, the environmental imbalance, women’s issues and racial issues.


Sweet Honey in the Rock has received many different Grammy award nominations.  They won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album for their version of Lead Belly’s “Grey Goose” from their album Folkways: A Vision Shared.


The current group members are Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, Louise Robinson, Carol Lynn Mallard and Navasha Daya.


Sweet Honey in the Rock: Songs

I’ve Got to Know- 1985

Tomorrow- 1985

Mandiacapella- 1985

On Children- 1988

Peace- 1988


Sylvie- 1988

So Glad I’m Here- 1989

Going to See My Baby- 1992

Run Molly Run- 1994

Balm in Gilead- 1995


Jordan River- 1995

Motherless Chil’- 1998

We Are The Ones- 1998

The Little Shekere- 1989

Right Now- 2007

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