Christina Spann hangs out of her moon Roof getting ready to sing in Belhaven.

Picture by Duncan Dent
Christina Spann hangs out of her moon Roof getting ready to sing in Belhaven. Picture by Duncan Dent

What started as an outburst, then an apology, has grabbed the attention of Christina Spann’s neighborhood and given a ray of hope to many quarantined in Belhaven.

 

While on a walk on Sunday evening, Spann felt like she had to sing after being cooped up in her house.

 

She belted out a few lines from Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” near Belhaven Park and immediately heard some dogs barking. Worried she upset somebody’s evening she got on the Nextdoor app to apologize.

 

“I quickly went to the app to apologize because I heard the dogs and didn’t mean to cause a stir,” Spann said. 

 

The burst of energy was met with open arms on the community-based app.

 

“Please do this every day,” one user wrote.

 

Another said, “Please continue to sing at eight as the Baptist workers get off of their shift. It really blesses us.”

 

The notes inspired her to take out to the streets of her neighborhood the next evening, car radio turned up and moon roof open, to spread joy and cheer. She made specific stops at friends' houses and waved to people on porches and out on evening strolls. Many got out their phones to record or waved back and a few even yelled and cheered.



“It was great to see the joy on people’s faces and realizing the small deeds you could do to put a smile on someone’s face,” Spann said.

 

She sang a litany of classic songs and Motown hits including Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary,” “Use Me” by Bill Withers and others.  

 

“Keep on singing. More singing is what we need right now instead of listening to the negative news,” a Nextdoor user wrote.

 

Community engagement comes naturally for Spann. She grew up in Ridgeland and graduated from St. Andrew’s. She has a degree in social work from Mississippi College, a master’s in public policy and administration from Jackson State University and will be pursuing her second graduate degree in mental health counseling at Mississippi College this summer. She now works for the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi as the Youth Programs Coordinator. 

 

“I love how people react when I sing. How they dance. They smile. I am glad God gave me the ability to sing.”

 

Harrison Matheny, a friend of Spann’s, said he has enjoyed seeing his friend become a “top conversation in Jackson” and appreciates her talent in these trying times. 

 

Because of weather and scheduling, Spann did not make it out on Tuesday evening but said that she would like to spread joy again in the near future. She even said she would like to venture out into Fondren or other neighborhoods.

 

Another friend, Ann Elizabeth Allison, said one thing is clear. “Christina has us dancing in the streets,” she said.