Welcome To Africasong

image1-16.jpg Jonathan Overby
Founder & Executive Director


Africasong Communications, Inc.
608 279-7000/7001
Toll Free 877 279-7077
PO Box 44855
Madison, Wisconsin 53744-4855
Twitter: @jloverbyWorMus1
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n Facebook: The Road To Higher Ground


MLK 2017 postcard_horiz 2.jpg

In words and music, the State of Wisconsin will present the 37th Annual “Tribute & Ceremony” honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 16, 2017, 12 Noon, State Capitol Bldg. Rotunda in Madison, Wisconsin.

Produced, directed and hosted by Wisconsin Public Radio’s Dr. Jonathan L. Overby, with a call for peace, unity and the celebration of Wisconsin’s culturally diversity population, the program themed, “The Journey Ahead”, features music by the Kenosha Temper High School Wind Ensemble, gospel music by Kingdom Records recording artists, The Brown Sisters of Chicago and, guest speaker Dr. Valerie Daniels-Carter whom Essence Magazine named one of the 50 most admired African-Americans in the U.S., putting her in the same company as Oprah Winfrey and Colin Powell.

Daniels-Carter, Evangelist, author and entrepreneur, started her career with one Burger King franchise in Milwaukee. Fully embodying her philosophy, “You Are The Standard of Excellence – ‘YATSE,'” her company is the largest woman-owned and African-American-owned multi-brand food service operator in the U.S. with more than 140 restaurants throughout the Midwest. Serving on numerous corporate and non-profit boards, Daniels-Carter is the first African-American woman to be elected to an NFL team board of directors, the Green Bay Packers. She is also part-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. Her best-selling book, “Your Business Is His Business,” combines the “YATSE” philosophy with business teachings, faith and philanthropy.

People throughout the state and around the world can listen live on Wisconsin Public Radio at wpr.org, Wisconsin Public Television’s Wisconsin Channel and wpt.org will also air the program live online. A one-hour MLK Highlights broadcast airs on Wisconsin Public Television at 9 p.m. on the 17th.

This annual commemoration has the distinguished honor of being the oldest official state commemoration for Dr. King in the U.S.  This proud event occurs in the seat of our State government while serving as a powerful and symbolic statement to many around the world.

Over the years, Wisconsin’s King celebration has featured many prominent leaders as guest speakers including actors Ruby Dee, Cecily Tyson, Clifton Davis and Paul Winfield, Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller, Ambassador Attallah Shabazz-the eldest daughter of Malcolm X, Mamie Till-Mobley-mother of Emmitt Till, Civil Rights activist Rev. C.T. Vivian-former presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm, CNN’s Roland Martin and commentator, Van Jones.

Debbie Biddle, Chair 2o17 MLK Planning Group – is a leadership development coach and diversity and inclusion workshop facilitator, writer and speaker.  As founder of High Performance Development Solutions, Deborah is known for her calm, levelheaded approach in developing individuals and teams to reach their desired goals.  She serves as the Madison community as Arts & Letters chair of the Madison Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., grants committee member of A Fund For Women and chair of Wisconsin’s 37th Annual MLK Tribute & Ceremony. She has served as a member of the MLK Planning Group since 2015.

For More Information Contact:

Dr. Jonathan L. Overby, Executive Producer/Host

c/o Wisconsin Public Radio – USA, 821 University Ave

Madison, WI 53706

608 279-7000/7001

Toll Free 877 279-7077



Greetings and thank you for visiting AFRICASONG.

In Outre-mer: A pilgrimage beyond the sea, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1835) described his travels around Europe and, what he learned about culture and society during his excursions.  He stated, “music is the universal language of mankind”.  I resonate with his conclusion and I believe in the power of music to create increased understanding about those who are different.  This idea is shared by many in the music world and it serves, informs and in fact, inspired the creation of AFRICASONG.

Africasong’s mission is dedicated to the presentation of edifying culturally-inclusive productions and events, education, publications and research on diverse forms of music.

Africasong’s campaign serves as a means to illuminating varied artists, the findings of musicologists, world music enthusiasts, performers and composers, as well as the overwhelming collective of marginalized groups around the globe who musical voices are often misunderstood.  Africasong believes in helping to further create, promote, and sustain a world where all and not just some are remembered, edified and celebrated through the transformative power of music created around the globe.


Since the beginning of time, humans have struggled to find a binding cure for human hatred.  Slain U.S. Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., held that hatred paralyzes, darkens, and confuses life (King, Jr., 1963).

History’s not so distant past reveals that hatred played a role in the enslavement of Africans in America and the persecution of Jews in Germany.  More recently, hatred resulted in massive genocide in Rwanda, civil war that engulfed Uganda, ethnic strife in Sierra Leone, the cruelty of apartheid in South Africa, and widespread murder in the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia.  The tragic event of 9-11, recent attacks in Paris and beyond, provide only a modest representation of a much broader global challenge linked to human hatred, intolerance and humanity’s failure to embrace and celebrate difference.

AFRICASONG was created in 1992 as a response to episodes of hatred in the U.S. as well as other worldwide acts where misplaced nationalism, deeply held racism, gender discrimination, xenophobia, religious intolerance as well as the horrific violence that contributes to the disease of human hatred around the world.


AFRICASONG will host the Sacred World Music Research Project that will explore various genre’s of sacred music around the globe.  Many of the discoveries will be posted here and will include historical practices, ideas, narratives, photos, video and shared conversations “in the field” as a means of providing a scholarly and culturally inclusive review of sacred expressions through world music.  As the primary investigator on the project, I hope to learn if increased understanding of the daily rituals, traditions, customs and beliefs of diverse groups, may lead to reduced human hatred (see the Sacred World Music page for more details).

Thank you for visiting AFRICASONG.  Along with other supporters, I look forward to the future and how we might better serve celebrate and illumine diverse communities “near and far”.

Asante Sana,


For more information about your tax deductible gift
call 608 279-7000, 608 279-7001
Toll Free 877 279-7077 or write to us care of
PO Box 44855 Madison, W
isconsin 53744-4855
e-mail: admin@africasong.org

Africasong Communications, a not-for-profit 501C3 registered with the State of Wisconsin, in the United States.  It is a charitable agency dedicated to culturally inclusive programming, education, music productions and publications designed to educate, edify and entertain.

Since Africasong’s official beginning in January 2000, our onus of drawing diverse cultures together in a variety of celebratory settings remains at the core of our programming efforts.

We believe that the arts serve as a powerful venue for building bridges between different groups by illuminating their contributions to our collective way of life and culture here in Wisconsin and beyond.

We hope you agree and moreover, we hope you’ll help us continue to build lasting bridges across racial, religious, social, geographic and cultural lines, by supporting our efforts with your personal financial pledge. We need your help to sustain “good community” throughout Wisconsin, our nation and the world.

Help Africasong celebrate, edify, educate and entertain audiences through it efforts to render inclusive and diverse programming designed to illumine diverse cultures around the world as a means of reducing human hatred with the hope of securing increased understanding of those who are ‘different’.

2016 Board Members
Rev. Vern Visick, Chair

Amy T. Overby, Managing Director
Deborah Biddle, Member At Large, July 1, 2016
Dr. Jonathan L. Overby, Founder and Executive Director

Africasong is seeking additional board members – to apply, call
608 279-7001 or e-mail: admin@africasong.org

Former Africasong Board Members
Oscar Mireles, Omega School – Chair

Walter L. Smith, Jr. Graybar Electric Company, Milwaukee
Alfred Hall WI Department of Regulation and Licensing
Lucille Badger, W.O.R.T. Radio host and WNWC Radio, 102.5 FM, Madison



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