BY KYRA DAHRING, Staff Reporter
Award-winning gospel singer Kierra Sheard was a guest speaker last week for Dr. Smith Pollard’s Intro to Gospel Music class.
Sheard is the daughter of Karen Clark Sheard, a singer in The Clark Sisters, and the granddaughter of gospel choral director Mattie Moss Clark.
Sheard said it was hard because she was not able to hit the same notes her mother could.
“I felt the pressures from the people to duplicate what my family was able to accomplish, but I’ve never felt them from my family,” Sheard said.
Sheard said her mother told her not to imitate what her family had done, but to cater to the needs of the industry.
Growing up in the business was “super cool,” Sheard said, and it allowed her to learn about herself. She said it helped her develop into the person she is today.
Dr. Pollard’s class has been studying the Clark family during this semester, specifically Wayne State University graduate Sheard.
Dr. Pollard set up a discussion with Sheard open to all students, but especially for students of African and African American Studies, the Department of Literature, Philosophy and the Arts, and the Music History Program.
“I was a guest at the discussion because my friend asked me to join her. She was very inspirational and is a great example of someone who followed their dreams,” said student Emida Aliko, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry.
Sheard has produced five albums throughout her career and has traveled around the globe preaching from her heart.
“I did feel the pressures from the people, but (I am) thankful to God I have developed my own fanbase and I have people who just wanted me for me,” Sheard said.