Lawrence McKiver

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Lawrence McKiver, who died on April 2 at age 97 in St. Simons Island, Ga., was the guardian of a musical tradition dating to the time when Africans brought in chains across the Atlantic kept their spirits up by lifting their voices in song. With his fellow members of the McIntosh County Shouters, McKiver practiced the ring shout, a vocal genre that gospel music historian W. K. McNeil says grew out of West African religious rituals and "is probably the oldest surviving African American performance tradition on the North American continent."
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