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« Examining the Discourse on Immigration | Main | Bill Moyers Asks: What is the Meaning of the Nooses? »

Bill Moyers Rewind: The Songs are Free

Below is an excerpt from THE SONGS ARE FREE with Bernice Johnson Reagon and Bill Moyers, which originally aired on February, 6, 1991

We invite you to respond by commenting below.


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My brother would appreciate this website. lol

Your esteemed guest who provided needed insight into the increasingly use of nooses, followed by the delicious music of Bernice Reagan. Having taught trans cultural nursing for many years, I am often amazed at the lack of sensitivity to others in our country. That very much included sensitivity regarding patients from cultures other than the practitioner. It also included health care professionals from other cultures. Today it was striking to hear Ms. Reagan sing the old songs which clearly meant so much to her audience. A great way to end the Thanksgiving holiday.
Faye

Gratitude; for your program (BM Journal) and the tag to Bernice Reagon, it confirms the power of Life, Truth and Love, in a time where it is so difficult to make sense of our world. My faith in God and the perspective my ancestors legacy has given me an inheirtance that is the Power embraced in your program on "The reappearance of the Noose". Hopefully we have reached a plateau where we can have meaningful dialogue on these issues up to an includinh the significance of "RAP" music and it relation to Spirituals and Blues. I am a retired educator with a small town background but your program give me encouragement and a vitality I have not felt in years. Now, I want to contribute and not sit on the sideline in comfortable retirement. Please keep me posted. thank you it is great we have atechnology to keep programming alive such as the workshop w/Reagon. I am very grateful for reconnecting with my heritage in the fine provocative topic.

This was a powerful program with a poewrful message: a message of hope and I hope many people, African Amerians, white and Hispanics watched it. The message by Prof. Cone hit me in the gut and I taped ot for my children to see it. Thank You, Public Television, for making such a great program available.

TRUTH
TRUTH IS

Truth is life without uncertain difference.
Truth is the foundation of all equations.
Truth is more simple than thought.
Truth is the light of a new dawn.
Truth is equal, united and free.
Truth is Grand Unification.
Truth is absolute certainty.
Truth is hidden by theory.
Truth is what we seek.
Truth is the solution.
Truth is self-evident.
Truth is everything.
Truth is up to you.
Truth is oneness.
Truth is the cure.
Truth is justice.
Truth is good.
Truth is right.
Truth is =.
Truth is.
Truth.

=
MJA


It's interesting, if, sadly, not surprising, that in a month officially dedicated to the history of Native America, not a single segment of NOW was devoted to the subject.

O Freedom... now I recall what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving: uncopyrighted oral tradition. Many other freedom songs would be public domain if it weren't for greedy corporations. If Americans want to learn what a "commons" means they need to listen to Bernice Johnson Reagon when she explains the Black investment in these spirituals. No one owns culture. Most Americans have lost the concept of a cultural commons. It would not be strange for a mixed ethnic group to establish an oral tradition when they resist oppression together.
Woodie Guthrie and Pete Seeger used the invisible power of song. I'm thinking of my movement mothers now: Septima Clark and Zilphia Horton. "Freedom now, freedom now. Freedom , dignity and justice now..."

Wow. This was really powerful, thanks for posting.

I taught Judo downtown Detroit in an old building that would shudder every time someone hit the mat when they were thrown. Across the street was an Afro-American church. When the choir practiced singing on wednesday night; it was the best singing I had ever heard. The old Judo club building would resonate to the music. It was definitely music that came from the soul. One night after working out, a Judo student (Judoka) who was mulatto asked me to stop at the local bar with him for a drink. When we went in the door everyone stopped talking and we sat and waited to be served for quit a while. Finally, the Judo student went and talked to the bar tender. The bar tender gave me a big smile and greeted me. Everyone in the bar went back to talking and drinking.
In retrospect, it felt good to me to be accepted into the culture of a people who were feared by many of my Anglo-Saxon culture. I still feel at ease with people of Afro-American lineage. Sometimes I ask them if they have any relatives in Africa. They ask me why that question and I tell them "I do". I have first cousins in Africa who were born there.
so what am I trying to say?
possibly that the events in our lives are all interwoven and we need to see each other as a fellowship of travellers on this earth. We move with the sound of the music and the rhythem of earth's heart beat.

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