The Legacy of Thomas A Dorsey

Black and white photo of Thomas Dorsey at piano with title of the event text overlay.

As part of WIU’s Black History Month programming, University Libraries will host “The Legacy of Thomas A. Dorsey,” a discussion of the influential gospel composer, on Tuesday, February 23rd, at 6:30 PM in the Malpass Library Garden Lounge.

Dr. Alphonso Simpson, Jr., WIU faculty in the African-American Studies department, and Thomas A Dorsey III, Esq., a lawyer and grandson of Dorsey, will discuss their work on the Thomas Andrew Dorsey Project, which will chronicle the life story of the “father of gospel music.” They will present on his life and his influence, as well as discuss his contributions to gospel and how to sustain his legacy. Questions are welcome and attendees are encouraged to participate by asking. The event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

To accompany this event, University Libraries has created an online guide featuring works about Thomas A Dorsey available through the Libraries’ print and online collections. It includes books, reference works, articles, and streaming music. The guide can be accessed here:

For more information, contact Dr. Alphonso Simpson, Jr. at (309) 298-2360 or