Rainbow Sign, 1948
Alan Lomax recorded Alabama singers Vera Ward Hall and Doc Reed in 1948 in New York City. These oral histories, play songs, blues, spirituals, and stories were used as the basis of The Rainbow Sign (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1959), a study of African-American spirituality. “God gave Noah that rainbow sign…” is a biblical metaphor included in song and literature referencing the promise of better times ahead. It held special meaning for African-Americans involved in the long movement for civil rights in America.