I don't think Kumbaya was sung at today's Consistory at the Vatican where Pope Benedict dressed regally in the liturgical ware of a formal prayer service and gave the cardinals their red hat! Somehow Kumbaya and liturgical high church don't seem to go together, but I could be wrong.
I have often mocked "Kumbaya" as one of those horrid folk songs we sang almost every Sunday at Mass in the 1960's and 1970's. I absolutely hated it, especially when hand-holding and swaying accompanied the easy to sing song. It epitomized all that was wrong with the reformed Mass immediately following Vatican II and what was wrong with the Church of that period.
But it turns out that it has some political overtones and racial overtones and some would say that not liking it, deriding it and making fun of it is actually a form of racism since this song is not really a folk song, but a Negro Spiritual.
I actually love Black spirituals although I'm not entirely convinced that all of these are appropriate for Mass. But I honestly thought that Kumbaya was a folk song written and created by whites who normally like folk music more so than our Black brothers and sisters do.
But here is the New York Times take on Kumbaya, political liberalism and caustic racism, just press the link:
KUMBAYA MY LORD?