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The film by Jan Schmidt-Garre and Marieke Schroeder tells the story of classic black singing against the background of black emancipation in politics and society. This story stretches from the first successes of the bass Paul Robeson, who all his life regarded his voice as an instrument of liberation, to the young singing pupils of the Harlem School of Arts, who identify themselves with their origins in rejuvenated pride. The great African-American singers express their views, as do opera company directors and critics. Historical and contemporary film extracts and specially produced film sequences demonstrate the richness and variety of black singing.