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Anti-Fascism and Racial Struggle in Song

Meredith Holmgren Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
The events that unfolded last month in Charlottesville, Virginia, when neo-fascist protests against the removal of a Confederate monument escalated to the deaths of three persons, have stirred nationwide debate about the history of fascism and white supremacy. The music from Smithsonian Folkways' large collection also forces us to consider how musicians have historically responded to fascism and white supremacy.

Friday Nite Videos | September 15, 2017

Portside
Donald Trump's Rage Against 'Idiot' Sessions. John Oliver | Colin Kaepernick. A Former Neo-Nazi Is Trying to Stop the Spread of Hate. Movie | The Young Karl Marx. Dave Van Ronk | House Of The Rising Sun.

Ella Jenkins Named 2017 NEA National Heritage Fellow

NEA
Through more than 50 years of groundbreaking efforts, Ella Jenkins, aptly nicknamed the “First Lady of Children’s Music,” laid the groundwork for the field of children’s music and inspired generations of children’s music leaders who have followed in her footsteps.

Tidbits - May 18, 2017 - Reader Comments: Comey Firing, Trump Base, Family Trump, Afghan Escalation, Sessions' Dept. of Injustice; Poor Prisons; Solidarity Statement for Yale Graduate Union; Resistance Summer; Chelsea is Free; and more...

Portside
Reader Comments: Comey, Trumpism, Family Trump, Afghan Escalation, Sessions' Dept. of Injustice; Poor Prisons; People's History - Henry Wallace; The Man Who Never Returned; The Investigator; Solidarity Statement for Yale Graduate Union - Add Your Name; Announcements: Resistance Summer; Chelsea is Free; Seattle Labor History Mural; 80th Commemoration of Republic Steel Massacre; Book Tours: In the Fields of the North; The Syriza Wave; Left Forum Opening Plenary additions

Walter O’Brien: The Man Who Never Returned

Peter Dreier and Jim Vrabel Jacobin
Most Americans know the song “MTA,” popularized by the Kingston Trio in 1959. It’s the one about a “man named Charlie” doomed to “ride forever ’neath the streets of Boston . . . the man who never returned.” What’s forgotten, however, is that the song was originally made for a left-wing political campaign. In 1949, the Boston People’s Artists wrote “MTA” for a left-wing candidate. The song became a hit — the man behind it disappeared.

And It Could Have Been Me

Holly Near Kent and Jackson State 1970-1990
Twenty years after the murders of students at Kent State (May 4) and Jackson State (May 15), in 1970, Holly Near wrote "And It Could Have Me." in 1990. "The song has grown over the years, new verses being added as violence continues to interrupt human potential." Today with Trump as President and a right-wing GOP-cabal in control, the song has new meaning - "it could have been me; But instead it was you; So I’ll keep doing the work you were doing as if I were two."

Paul Robeson's Songs and Deeds Light the Way for the Fight Against Trump

Jeff Sparrow The Guardian (UK)
The great American radical showed how ordinary people mattered more than stars - a lesson today's celebrities could do with learning. These are strange times for popular music and politics. On the one hand, the opposition to Donald Trump now extends so deeply into the entertainment industry that the president struggled to find any real talent willing to play his inauguration.

Tidbits - October 20, 2016 - Reader Comments: Trump-A Setting Time Bomb; Help Protect Our Elections; Lift Us Up - A song for America; Thoughts on Syria; Announcements; and more ...

Portside
Reader Comments: Trump-A Setting Time Bomb; You Can Help Protect Our Elections; Inequality (and Climate Change) ARE Defining Issues of Our Time; Women Share Rape Stories; Paul Ryan's Fear - GOP Loss is Win for Bernie Sanders; Lift Us Up - A song for America (Sung by Bethany Yarrow; written by Peter Yarrow); Thoughts on Syria; Announcements: 70th Anniversary of Southern Youth Legislature; Justice for Laquan - Chicago; Book Talk: Women Fight the Islamic State

Pete Seeger in East Berlin, 1967

Victor Grossman The Volunteer (Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives -ALBA)
Pete Seeger, folk singer and activist for peace, civil rights, labor rights and the environment, left us just two years ago - January 27, 2014. Recently, Seeger's FBI file has been released. Included in the file is Pete's correspondence with Victor Grossman. The Editors of The Volunteer, founded by the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, asked Grossman if he had any recollections of Pete's visit to East Berlin in 1967. Here's his story.
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