Hansonia Caldwell isn’t a detective by trade but the emerita professor of music’s knowledge of scared music of
the African Diaspora provided the clues needed to solve a mystery on an episode of PBS’s “History Detectives.” "Slave Songs of the United States" is a book in the collection of the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum in Culver City, Calif. Clayton’s son, Avery, wanted to
know if the compilation, which was originally published in 1867, was indeed the first record of Negro spirituals
and presented the question to PBS’s “History Detectives.” Wes Cowan, appraiser and auctioneer, interviewed Caldwell
onscreen last summer in the CSU Dominguez Hills University Archives and Special Collections to enlist her aid in
solving the mystery.