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Shirley Ann Griffin-Martin Recordings of Albuquerque African American Music and Programs

Identifier: MSS-835-BC

Scope and Content

Working with the University of New Mexico Black History Month program organizers, local church leaders, and Joe Powdrell of the Albuquerque Juneteenth Planning Committee, Griffin was able to capture on tape Albuquerque Juneteenth celebrations of 1985, 1986 and 1988; the 1988 UNM Black History Month Kickoff Brunch performances and talk; a 1988 United Negro College fundraising program at the Bethesda Seventh Day Adventist Church and a 1987 Christmas service at the Albuquerque Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Included in the recordings is the song, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which was sung in segregated schools across the nation. Composed in 1900, the song is considered the Black national anthem. (Words also online).

The recordings document music and ideas heard by the Albuquerque African American community in the 1980s, including spirituals, classical and contemporary Christian music and hymns by church choirs and vocalists, popular rhythm and blues (R&B), blues, rock and roll, and rap music performed by local musical groups and vocalists and Drum and Bugle Corps music ensembles. Poetry readings, comedy routines, historical readings and speeches by local politicians about issues facing Albuquerque's African American community are also in the collection, as are talks by representatives of the Muslim faith

The collection illuminates the customs, social life, culture and musical heritage of Albuquerque and New Mexico. The names of songs and performers have been adapted and spelled as heard on the recordings.

3 event programs are included.


  • 1985-1988


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Copyrights held by the speakers, performers and composers. Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution,

Biography / History

Shirley Ann Griffin - Martin was born in Palestine, Texas. Her parents migrated westward and eventually put down roots in Albuquerque during her sophomore year in high school. She attended UNM and graduated with a B.A. in Criminal Justice in December 1992. After leaving UNM she worked and traveled the U.S. She is retired and lives in Albuquerque now. She is a long time member of the Bethesda SDA Church in Albuquerque. Although she was not singing in any of the choirs at the time of these recordings, since that time she has been a member of the Bethesda choir. She loves to sing and has held several church offices.

As a student doing work-study in the Fine Arts Library at the University, Shirley was inspired by all of the books and music resources that were around her, especially in the archives. She wanted to contribute part of her story, culture and history in music in the Albuquerque area. She saw that much of the Black African American culture was being lost with the passing of our senior citizens. She wanted to celebrate some of that history in music. “Music is key in all types of gatherings, reflecting the mood of and the reason for the occasion," said Shirley. And indeed, how well her recordings show the importance of music to the African American community. She donated her work to the John Donald Robb Archive of Southwestern Music between 1985 and 1988.


1 box (.2 cu. ft.)


The Shirley Ann Griffin-Martin collection features recordings of African American music and programs from Albuquerque in the 1980s, including popular music, speeches from several Juneteenth events, church gospel songs, sermons and a UNM Black History Month program.

Related Material

Charlemaud Curtis Collection of Southwestern Music, Interviews and Programs Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Separated Material

Original reels and master CD's stored in B3.
Finding Aid of the Shirley Ann Griffin-Martin Recordings of Albuquerque African American Music and Programs, 1985-1988
Edited Full Draft
Andrew Saletta and Nancy Brown Martinez
© 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English
Funding provided by: John Donald Robb Music Trust

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131