Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Power of Song in the African American Community: Audio

The power of song in the African American community is the focus of this second blog post containing a short audio excerpt from the soundtrack of Dare Not Walk Alone.

The clip begins with the voice of J.T. Johnson of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference talking about what it was like to march onto a "Whites Only" beach in Florida during the Summer of 1964, facing intimidation and violence from white people who didn't want black people bathing on "their" beach.

(It's quite a shock to some younger people who watch Dare Not Walk Alone that 40 years ago there was active support for segregation, in other words, a lot of white folks fought to keep black folks "in their place." So the civil rights movement wasn't just "Let's raise awareness of this injustice." Many people supported segregation because they thought things were fine just the way they were. The followers of Dr. King, black and white, faced an active opposition in the form of white people who were vocally, and sometimes violently, opposed to equality.)

Listen as J.T. calmly describes how the marchers took the blows on those beach protests, without retaliation, and then returned the next day, fortified by prayer and song, exemplifying Dr. King's strategy of non-violent protest that eventually led to the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


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