McGregory Book Cover
Alumna Publishes New Book on Gospel Music in South

November 4, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University graduate Jerrilyn McGregory has published a new book that explores sacred music and spiritual activism in the South.

McGregory’s book, Downhome Gospel: African American Spiritual Activism in Wiregrass Country (University Press of Mississippi, 2010), looks at music outside church-related activities in a little-known region of Georgia, Alabama and North Florida. This is the second book McGregory has dedicated to the area, known as ‘Wiregrass Country.’ Her work Wiregrass Country (University Press of Mississippi) was published in 1997.

According to the publisher, Downhome Gospel is a study of gospel’s influence on social awareness in a region of the South that lacked a plantation economy. It is an ethnographic study focusing on contemporary cultural performances, almost all by women, promoting a womanist theology to ensure the survival of their communities and personal networks.

McGregory, an associate professor of English at Florida State University, received her degree in English in 1971 from Illinois Wesleyan, where she was honored as a member of Phi Kappa Phi national honors society.

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960