Just recently you asked Dr. Harding to reflect upon some of community differences between the civil rights movement in the 60's and now. Dr. Harding said he'd like to coax a tempered reflection forward. He was a bit tenuous.
May I suggest that the in 60's, amongst youth and their elders in the movement, singularly these people were attempting a communion. A major influence on life in general then but absent now is that the draft, the universal selection of any man "of age" went to the military. Many went to Asia and either did not return or came home "broken". All Americans knew someone who was in that war. The Civil Right Movement coincided with the Viet Nam era. We haven't had conscription since that was. Few I inquire of (widely) have a personal friend of family member in the military now. When in Europe I dearly love collecting stories of those who lived through the war. Community tales, universal moments of total, selfless compassion reign. In England alone the cast system totally disappeared for most during the bombings of London.
Have you read "Unearthing Seed of Fire"? This book as an informal history of the Highlander Center (now in New Market, TN). I mention this book for the show you've produced, while true to your design of looking for the common threads of spirituality, is about the Black community, the "King" experience, and the "then and now" perspective. Miles Horton, graduate of Union Theological Seminary, one Dr. King's most important "tutors", creator and director of the Highlander Center, introduced music and "play" into the mindset of organizers for civil disobedience. Horton modeled yet altered the folk school movement of Denmark in his work. He most effectively brought the spiritual and the secular communities of the South together years prior to the civil rights moment.
I love your show. I listen frequently and share note with friends frequently.
The white sisters and brothers drawn to action within the 60's, many of whom were not part of any specific religion, were young and old, educated mostly. In the research of another perspective (another show perhaps) on these same issues, the same moment in time, you may wish to examine the work of Guy and Candie Carawan, Miles Horton and others from Highlander who had a major impact on the earliest stages of the voter registration movement, civil rights movement and other Southern conflicts like textile and mining workers' rights.
Then as now you are affecting regular people, hopefully. In favor of reaching for the widest perspective of how the spirit reaches into life via music communicate with Dr. Bernice Regan Johnson, founder of "Sweet Honey In The Rock". She too knows well the roll of Highlander in the Civil Rights Movement. It is her version of Kumbaya (in the background) that closed the show this week.
With highest regards,
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