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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.

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 What’s forgotten, however, is that the song was originally made for a left-wing political campaign.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 ...

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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

Classical Music Steps In for BlackLivesMatter - Classical Notes Add to Voices of Protest

William Robin; Priscilla Fran New York Times
On July 13, 2015, Sandra Bland died while in police custody in Texas. On July 13, 2016, the one-year anniversary of her tragic death, The Dream Unfinished held a concert to commemorate her and the large number of Black women impacted by police killings. Whether Black women and girls are killed by police directly; their loved ones are killed by police; or police refuse to intervene or respond - Black women, girls, and femmes are affected by police brutality and killings

Tidbits - February 18, 2016 - Reader Comments: Protest Music; How Social Change Happens; Bernie, Hillary, Kissinger and Scalia; Announcements and more...

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Reader Comments: How Social Change Happens; Bernie, Hillary, Kissinger and Scalia; AFL-CIO Election Survey; DNC Lets Lobbyists Back In; Bernie as the Peace Candidate and Remembering 1972; Teaching - With Protest Music; Obama's Military Aid to Israel; Announcements - 50 Years After the Mississippi Summer Project; Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism; Labor for Bernie and Beyond - National Meeting;

Tidbits - Feb. 11, 2016 - What do Wealthiest Deserve; Bernie or Hillary - Ben Jealous, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Lee Saunders; Teaching with Protest Music; Uber Drivers Organize; Announcements; Resources; more...

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Reader Comments: What do Wealthiest Deserve?; Bernie or Hillary - Ben Jealous, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Lee Saunders; Teaching with Protest Music; Israel Crackdown on Palestinian Peace Activists; Uber Drivers; B-52's Failed Against Hanoi; Announcements: Rebellious Lawyering; "The Fight to Vote Resources: New York Times Spoof Site Back Up; New Rosa Parks website; Black History Month - A Bad-ass from History; Tufts University Study on TPP'; The Armenian Genocide

Tidbits - October 29, 2015 - Sanders Ignites Popular Movement; How Should He Talk About Socialism; Hillary and Labor; Cuba Solidarity and more...

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Reader Comments: Sanders Ignites a Populist Movement; How Sanders Should Talk About Democratic Socialism - readers offer differing views; Clinton and Labor Support; Argentina; Indonesia and the Act of Killing; Vera B. Williams and Children's Literature; A Progressive Song To Tap Your Feet To! from Kristin Lems; Announcements: Paul Robeson Play - More Performances - Hackettstown, NJ; Cuba Speaks for Itself - New York- Nov 4; Washington, DC- Nov 7; Bay Area- Nov. 13

Tidbits - July 2, 2015 - Condition of Black Life - Our Real Problem with Race; Take Down Your Flag; Black Churches Being Burned; Greek Referendum; Columbia Divests From Prisons; more...

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Reader Comments: The Condition of Black Life...Our Real Problem with Race; Take Down Your Flag 140+ artists post videos; Black Churches Being Burned; Greek Referendum; Columbia Divests From Prisons; Naomi Oreskes and Changing Climate; World War II Chemical Experiments Tested Troops By Race; Iran Nuclear Deal; About George Soros and the Ukraine...More Comments; Donate to Rebuild the Churches Fund; Announcement - Art Exhibit of Boycott Posters - Tacoma - July 2-16
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