I'll confess to being a bit biased here, but folk singers Anne Hills and David Roth co-wrote and recorded a song some fifteen years ago titled "That Kind of Grace." The song, written in the car as they were listening to radio reports of the riots in L.A. following the Rodney King verdict, tells several stories of racist violence where forgiveness was a response of the parents, in the cases of the church bombings and Michael Donald, or a plea for peace was spoken, as in King's remarks to the press, as quoted in the final verse. It is a powerful song about forgiveness found on the benefit tape titled "That Kind of Grace" which was recorded for the Carole Robertson Learning Center in Chicago, and on David Roth's album "Rising in Love" (Available on iTunes)
"That Kind of Grace" (Hills/Roth)
Sunday morning Birmingham, quiet in the churchBombs were planted, house of God, children's blood on the crossAnd your daughter she was one, angel without wingsHow could anyone forgive those who do such things.
Chorus And when I sing Amazing Grace, your face is what I see. I hope someday that kind of grace will find its way through me.
Friday evening in Mobile, Klansman killing time,Saw young Michael walking by, he would do just fine.Quiet student, mother's best, pleading for his lifeStrung him up to make a point, sharper than a knife,
Eula May his mother stood, people all aroundIn the court room listening as the truth was foundFrom her mouth no curses fell, no profanity"I would do to others as I'd have them do to me." Chorus And when I sing Amazing Grace, your face is what I see. I hope someday that kind of grace will find its way through me.
Thursday afternoon in the car, turn the radio on,The verdict in Los Angeles, Oh what have we doneImages of violence, yellow black and white52 dead, millions lost, who can win this fight
And on the screen a face of tears, trembling through and throughOne we've seen so many times beaten on the newsI could barely hear the words, full of fear and doubt"People we can't live like this, we've got to work this out"
The song closes with an accapella singing of the first verse of Amazing Grace, which almost always evokes audience participation at Anne and/or David's live shows.
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