songs for goodman, schwerner, chaney, and hamer
This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Mississippi Freedom Summer and August is the month when the bodies of freedom workers Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney were uncovered in an earthen dam in Neshoba County, all shot in the heart, and James, beaten as well.
The three were victims of a lynching organized by the deputy county sheriff. Their disappearance and death helped make the police state conditions of Mississippi a burning national issue.
The three were members of a civil rights army of several hundred who went to the state that summer to aid the creation of a black based political force there—aiming to get Federal intervention to enable the right to vote and to create an alternative to the white supremist Democratic Party.
The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party created an interracial delegation to the Democratic convention meeting in Atlantic City in late August—which sought to replace the all white ‘official’ delegation.
One of the leaders of his effort was Fannie Lou Hamer, who testified at the convention to the beating and repression she had experienced in her struggle to register to vote—and calling on the Party to seat the MFDP, M.s Hamer was a powerful song leader as well as organizer.
This week on the Culture of Protest—we’ll hear a collection of songs bearing on these events, as well as examples of Fannie Lou Hamer’s musical leadership. It was a moment, fifty years ago, when the culture and politics of social movement came together to make history.
culture of protest thurs 8/14/14 6pm pdt kcsb 91.9fm www.kcsb.org