Highlander

Songs & Stories From Home Episode 40

Let justice roll down like water, righteousness like a mighty stream. For a grandsons and granddaughters remember to remember the dream

Welcome to Songs and Stories from Home as we continue to remember the dream. This week, Highlander.

At this moment the killing of George Floyd has put people back on the streets and the struggle for racial equality back on the front page. Perhaps this can be the time when our country with its long history of racism finally rises to the challenge and begins to create a system based on racial justice that will include social justice, economic justice, earth justice, and restorative justice.   

Perhaps this time we will choose to remember that for 250 of the last 400 years it was lawful in America for black lives to be treated as property, to be bought and sold, whipped and chained. Then for another hundred years laws were put into place to keep black lives from becoming fully part of American life. And for the past 50 years progress made during the Civil Rights Movement, milestones like the Voting Rights Act, have been systematically chipped away and diluted, progress further denied by a failed and misdirected War on Drugs and laws that allowed for mass incarceration. 

When I look to our past for signs of  hope I continue to find it in the Civil Rights Movement, a time when good people, with the help of a series of Presidents, the Congress, and the Supreme Court, not only began to change the laws of the land but moved forward the idea that we are all created equal, equally precious in the sight of however we perceive that Creator.  

I’m also inspired by places like the Highlander Research and Education Center that was founded in the 1930’s and continues nearly a hundred years later to work for justice, equality, and sustainability. Highlander drew figures from the Civil Rights Movement like Dr. King, Reverend Abernathy, and Rosa Parks. It also welcomed one of my folk music heroes, Pete Seeger, who advised a California folk singer, Guy Carawan, to visit Highlander. Carawan not only visited but stayed. In 1960 he introduced the song “We Shall Overcome” to the Movement. The song soon became an anthem for Freedom in the US and around the world.  

As someone who continues to believe in the power of song and singing, it was a special moment for me to sing “We Shall Overcome” at Highlander standing between Guy Carawan’s widow and a hero of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Bernard LaFayette. As I explain in the video, I don’t continue to sing songs like “We Shall Overcome” believing doing so will move mountains, believing instead that when facing mountains such as the mountain of Racism that I, that we, may continue to be moved.   

Let justice roll down like water, righteousness like a mighty stream. For a grandsons and granddaughters remember to remember the dream

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

Songs & Stories From Home | Mark Pearson Music

One of Those Times in a Life | Mark Pearson Music

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