Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Smithsonian offers access to Selma Freedom March songs

Carl Benkert was a successful architectural interior designer from Detroit who had come down South in 1965 with a group of local clergy to take part and bear witness to the historic march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. In addition to his camera, he brought a bulky, battery-operated reel-to-reel tape recorder to capture the history all around him, in speech but also in song; songs of hope, defiance and unity were directly captured and documented. In their struggles to make a stand against inequality, Benkert wrote, “music was an essential element; music in song expressing hope and sorrow; music to pacify or excite; music with the power to engage the intelligence and even touch the spirit.”
The Smithsonian offers free access to the sound recordings of the music of the freedom march. Note that a Spotify account is needed, but there is no charge to listen to the recordings.   

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