Actress Aunjanue Ellis attends the 5th annual Critics' Choice Television Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., on May 31, 2015.
Actress Aunjanue Ellis attends the 5th annual Critics' Choice Television Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., on May 31, 2015. Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic

Aunjanue Ellis: Songs for Your Soul

Jun 30, 2016
Ideas
Aunjanue Ellis, an actress known for her role in The Help, is the star of ABC’s Quantico and co-stars in The Birth of a Nation, out on Oct. 7.

If you happen to be in Mississippi and see a tattered sign at a supermarket or laundromat announcing a gospel-quartet concert, forsake all else and go! These groups, made up of singers ranging from age 4 to near certain death and playing little more than a drum, a heel of a shoe and a guitar, must be experienced live. Their upset of pews and the devil must be witnessed.

This music is not new--you have heard it in the Black Keys, Beyoncé and Prince. But these concerts, or "singings" as we call them in Mississippi, are seedless, not-ready-for-Ryan-Seacrest straight shots to the soul. When you get a good one, it is a corporeal experience. Some piece of you will hurt. But that won't be the story you will tell.

Perhaps I am a heathen exhorting you to go for the merits of the music and not for the purpose of saving your soul, but if by chance you get a little trickle-down religion too, just count it as a glorious extra.

Ellis stars in Quantico and can be seen in upcoming film The Birth of a Nation


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