I was recently invited to give a presentation as a part of a lecture series on the Emmett Till lynching that occurred in Mississippi in the 1950’s and was an early spark for the Civil Rights movement. My presentation focused on the music of the Civil Rights and other protest music, and how the genres have evolved and expanded over time.
One of my musical guests, student Alexandria Monroe, gave a powerful and moving performance of the African-American Spiritual, “Motherless Child”, and what is considered one of the earliest protest songs, “Strange Fruit”, as made famous by Billie Holiday.
Music instructor Sandy Champion also joined me in singing “Blowin’ in the Wind”, and we finished with Pete Seeger-esque rendition of “We Shall Overcome”. It was exciting to have the opportunity to share this music and learn more about the history of protest music in the process. I will soon have the performance posted for all to enjoy!