Roots of Soul
With its beautifully warm patina of aged wood and chipped, faded paint, Hoopers A.M.E. Chapel was located for more than 100 years in the Mississippi Delta near the rural town of Duncan. Deconstructed there and reconstructed inside the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the country church includes the original hand-hewn pews made by the congregants, the original altar table and pulpit, corner stone, and all original floors, walls, ceiling, wood-burning stove, and other fixtures. This is the jewel in the crown of the museum’s “Roots of Soul” exhibit, which illustrates the close connection between the emotion-charged gospel music of the African-American church and soul music of the 1960s and 1970s, particularly Southern soul music and that of Stax Records. The story is also told through state-of-the-art video footage of powerful sermons and gospel music performances from the early 20th century through the 1950s, featuring artists such as Sister Rosetta Tharp, the Soul Stirrers, Mahalia Jackson, and others.