When civil rights activists faced the threat of snarling police dogs, jail cells, and sometimes even death, they often energized and emboldened themselves by singing simple freedom songs.
Saturday January 18, we’ll recall that unusual era, 1960-65, when blacks and whites marched together, were beaten together, and were sometimes killed together as they campaigned for simple human rights, taken for granted a half century later.
“Songs of Struggle,” with local musicians Paisha Thomas and Bill Cohen, will rekindle the tunes and spirit of that era. Among the songs: Oh Freedom, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, I’m On My Way to the Freedom Land, and We Shall Overcome.
The timing of the concert couldn’t be more appropriate. It comes 2 weeks before the 60th anniversary of the first lunch counter sit-in, and it comes just days after the 90th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday.
The songs will punctuate vintage film footage of some of the major triumphs and tragedies of the early civil rights movement. Among them: the 1960 lunch counter sit-ins, the 1961 freedom rides, the 1963 March on Washington, murders by southern racists, and the 1965 marches in Selma.
WHERE: Maple Grove Methodist Church
7 W. Henderson, Columbus 43214
(free parking in back via Aldrich Rd)
WHEN: January 18 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Admission is free but we’ll take up a free-will offering. Bill and Paisha will split the proceeds with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has championed the rights of minorities and the poor for 4 decades.
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