The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly built by James Hampton.
The original musical THRONE traces the remarkable, true story of James Hampton, a black South Carolinian who, while working as a janitor at a federal building in Washington, DC, came to believe he had been called by God to create a throne for the second coming of Jesus Christ. Born at the height of Jim Crow racism, Hampton said Moses, the Virgin Mary and other Biblical figures appeared to him with encouragement and instruction to complete this throne.
The songs range from the soaring “Monument to Jesus,” which Hampton hears sung by a revival preacher with that very building-mission, to “Every Time I See You,” a beautiful ballad sung by a woman who has a hopeless crush on the gentle, intensely private janitor; from “The Last One Laughing,” a Mills Brothers-style toe-tapper sung by a trio of Old Testament prophets, to “Never Made It to the Promised Land,” a roof-raiser sung to the dying Hampton by Moses.
James Hampton, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly, ca. 1950-1964, mixed media, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of anonymous donors, 1970.353.1-.116