taking the words of Jesus seriously

Walk With Me

Rev Otis Moss III, founder of Unashamed Media Group, asked Common Hymnal to contribute music for “Otis’ Dream,” the Get Out The Vote film he wrote and produced for the 2020 election. More specifically, he asked them to produce a new arrangement of the old spiritual ‘I Want Jesus To Walk With Me’ for the final credits.

The project’s goal was to combat the wave of voter suppression that was forming in states across the nation despite the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. And encourage black Christians to vote.

The film tells the story of his grandfather, a sharecropper, who was denied the right to vote in rural Georgia in the forties after walking over 18 miles to three different polling locations. Oprah Winfrey first heard the story in the early eighties and has told it in election cycles ever since. She previewed the movie and interviewed Otis on SuperSoul Sunday before the 2020 election. The film was shown in black churches across the country that weekend and will hopefully inspire black Christians to get out and vote for many election seasons to come.

Common Hymnal feels passionate about this issue and plans to support several Get Out The Vote initiatives this coming year. This recording is one of their contributions to the discussion.

Because of the deadline, they recorded the first version in an all-nighter and vowed to re-produce a full version of the song when they had a window of time. The result is this new music video, featuring vocals by The Spirituals, Junior Garr, Niiella, Sharon Irving and Chris Blue, and footage from the film and the animation that Ron Abdou and Zach Stewart created for the original track.

PLEASE visit otisdream.com to watch the story in its fullness, and find helpful resources.

About The Author


Common Hymnal has been working these past few years to create something special. As today’s generation engages less and less in the ‘overground’ church, we have been investing in the spiritual underground, building out a virtual library to facilitate a vibrant and ongoing exchange of songs, stories and ideas between the various communities in this space. We have treasure-hunted the uttermost extremities of the faith to stock this library with quality content, steering clear of cliches and spiritual fads in an effort to contribute meaningfully to a culture that values thoughtfulness and honesty. A growing realization: you get a much better view of the the future when you spend time at the margins. A growing hope: the transformation that happens when God’s people grab a hold of the future and drag it into the present. In the underground, praise and protest are inextricably intertwined. Spirituality is not escapist or dualist: it is real, integrated, and has a social conscience. Spiritual colonization is taboo. Likewise with this hymnal. We would like to see the seamless worship set replaced by a more democratized ritual that includes more art forms, a broader range of subject matter and a gutsy honesty. A kind way of saying: 'No more cliches! No more karaoke!' We are purposefully not pursuing a footprint in the current CCM/worship sub-culture, but are working, slowly and carefully, to coalesce a new demographic, serious Christ followers who find themselves on the outskirts as a result of not fully connecting with mainstream Christian culture. Therefore, we have been building out a Discord community (as part of our Patreon) to kill several birds with one stone: coalesce the uncoalesced into a new ecosystem; provide opportunity for underground creatives to meet, learn and collaborate; give underground activists backstage access to our content creation and internal communications; and realize some financial support.

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