Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Songs, Actions, and Social Justice

Closing Event Goes Off Without a Hitch

All good things must come to an end. And so it was this past Sunday, November 16th, that the Russell Library hosted the sixth and final event in the Weaving the Threads of Justice program series. Featured guests included lifelong social activists & folk music icons Guy and Candie Carawan, documentary filmmaker Heather Carawan, and retired UGA professor Dr. Art Rosenbaum.

Guy and Candie Carawan were a vital part of the Highlander staff during the Civil Rights Movement. Guy, a folk musician and the center’s music director in the late 1950s and early 1960s, introduced, “We Shall Overcome” during a training camp for SNCC workers in 1960, after which it quickly emerged as the anthem of the Movement. They have traveled the world singing folk tunes, and have continued to live and work for justice throughout the South. Now retired and living in New Market, Tennessee, they remain active in the current activities at Highlander.

The program kicked off with brief introductions and a screening of the documentary film, The Telling Takes Me Home, a film which explores the lives of Guy & Candie, through the lens of the director, their daughter Heather Carawan. A question and answer session with all three Carawans followed, with ample time for the crowd to partake in a delicious reception in the lobby. Our afternoon concluded with an informal jam session featuring the musical styling of the elder Carawans and Dr. Rosenbaum. By the end, the whole audience was standing – arm in arm – to the tune of “We Shall Overcome”.

Our final event was jam packed – with more than 60 people in attendance! Both the quality film and performance, as well as the crowd gathered, ended this program series on a high note. We thank all of the individuals and sponsors who made these events possible, and look forward to upcoming events series in the spring of 2009 – stay tuned!

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