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Let’s chat with Sweet Honey In The Rock

What are your names? Do they have a special meaning?

Put your mouse on the words in GREEN Green is the color made from mixing blue and yellow. to find out more about them.


Aisha Kahlil – My name, Aisha Kahlil, was given to me when I was a sophomore in college. I met a MuslimSomeone whose religion is Islam. brother who gave me the name, which I adopted when I took shahadaThe profession of faith made by Muslims as a Muslim. Aisha means “alive” in ArabicA language that is the official language of several countries of North Africa and Southwest Asia.. Kahlil means “friend.” In SomaliaA country in East Africa., Aisha means “What do you desire?”



Shirley Childress Saxton
– In the Deaf Community, we identify one another using our name sign. My name sign is the letter “S” (the hand shape of a soft fist) with the thumb and index finger side facing and touching the cheek.

Carol Maillard
– Maillard is French, and my great grandparents came from the French side of a CaribbeanA group or chain of 7000 islands, islets, and reefs in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. island named St. Martin. I do like being called by my last name because there are not very many Maillards in the United States and it really seems to fit my energy.


Nitanju Bolade Casel
– My full name is Clarice Adele Johnson Nitanju Bolade Casel. My parents named me Clarice; it means “clear and bright.” Johnson is my father’s family name. Nitanju was given to me by a YorubaWest African people living mostly in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. priest, who told me this name came to him in a dream. He told me it meant “to possess and project trust.” Bolade is a Yoruba name from NigeriaA country in West Africa. It means “honor arrives.” Casel is the family name of my husband, Tayari.


Louise Robinson
– Louise means “warrior, renownedWell-known or famous. warrior.” I was named after my mother’s best friend, Louise.




What is your earliest musical memory?

Aisha - I grew up singing around the house. We used to sing along with my mother and father’s recordsVinyl or plastic disks with grooves that can be played on a phonograph or record player.. My father was always humming or singing, and my mother sang in the church choir. There was always music around the house, and I remember singing all the time. My sister (Nitanju Bolade Casel) and I used to make up performances and perform for the neighbors, and for anniversaries and birthdays. I was always the director, calling the other kids to come and practice.

Shirley – My earliest memory of music is that I wouldn’t sing out loud – I was always off key. I’ve since learned that singing is energizing, and it is expression of one’s self – whether sung vocally or in Sign!

Maillard – We had a beautiful upright piano in our house where I lived with both of my grandparents in Philadelphia. It was dark brown and I loved to polish it and spent lots of time pretending I knew everything there was to know about music and composing. (That was before I took lessons in the 2nd grade.) I would play and play all kinds of melodies and sing and get up and create all kinds of fancy dances. My heart was full of music and drama and stories. I had a wild imagination.

Nitanju – My early music memories are rehearsing and singing in the junior church choir, rehearsing our friends for neighborhood performances, spending most of my allowance on music, trying to sing like all of the artists, and taking piano lessons. I LOVED the piano! Still do!

Louise – My first memories of music are in the church. I was a member of the “number one” choir, which was for kindergarteners through second graders. I led two songs: “Satisfied with Jesus” and “We Are Soldiers in the Army.” Although singing was the first musical experience I had, acting was the main focus of my artistic career.