Time Has Come Again.
An honest, musical telling of the African American fight for Civil Rights and Economic Justice For All.
((( video )))
“The World Is A Ghetto”
The 21st Century Freedom Riders @ WLRN (January 17, 2014)
Allan Harris and Doug Wimbish‘s first performance together was played at the WLRN studio, on the outskirts of downtown Miami. “The World is a Ghetto” (here) was from their playing “The Bridge,” on host Ed Bell’s “Live” broadcast, Friday at Noon. Allan and Doug were in town to play The Miami Design Preservation League’s Annual Art Deco Weekend.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (2015)
Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center Dedication
Pompano Beach, Florida
((( song )))
1934 — George Gershwin writes “PORGY AND BESS” an ARIA telling of a crippled street-beggar struggling to survive on Catfish Row, a black tenement in 1920s Charleston, South Carolina. “Porgy and Bess” was based on real-life, Charleston resident, Samuel Smalls.
Billie Holiday b/ William P. Gottlieb
1939 — “Strange Fruit,” the song known for its horrifying description of the Ku Klux Klan’s indiscriminate execution of innocent black men in Americas Deep South, was written by Abel Meeropol, a white Jewish school teacher who lived in the Bronx (New York City).
From the first time she sang it at Café Society, one of New York City’s first integrated nightclubs in Greenwich Village, Billie Holiday wept every time she sang it, saying of how she was moved by Meeropol’s words, “so horrific, sad, and true.”
• STRANGE FRUIT
b/ TRICKY (2002)
“World’s Highest Standard of Living”
1937 — Margaret Bourke-White took the picture during the aftermath of a flood in Louisville, Kentucky. The crowded line of black men, women, and children is waiting for food being distributed by The Red Cross, and The National Association of Manufacturers’ billboard vividly represents the division between black and white America.
Night & Day
(Moon & Sun)
“Harlem Nocturne,” written in 1939, by Earle Hagen (music) and Dick Rogers (lyrics) in 1939 for the Ray Noble Orchestra, of which they were members. Now, the song is what’s called a jazz “standard,” a song covered by hundreds, if not thousands, of Jazz musicians, including: ____________
((( audio )))
A Great Day In Harlem b/ Art Kane (Esquire)
“Great Day In Harlem”
One day in what’s called “The Golden Age Of Jazz,” a momentous gathering of musicians was preserved, and now stands as an important document in America’s musical history.
August 12, 1958 — “A Great Day In Harlem” or “Harlem 1958” is a black and white photograph of 57 Jazz musicians who had gathered at 17 East 126th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenue in Harlem, New York City. The picture was taken by freelance photographer Art Kane for Esquire magazine, and was published in Esquire’s January 1959 issue.
“Great Night In Harlem”
Ray Noble Orchestra
1940 (First Recording)
((( audio )))
September 4, 1957 — Hazel Massery, unhappy with the decision to integrate Little Rock Central High School, shouts angrily at Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine, as she walked to enter Little Rock Central High School for the first time.
1964 — Sam Cooke released his single “Change is Gonna Come” in 1964, and had talked about it being inspired by personal events in his life, especially when he and his band were turned away from a “Whites Only” motel in Louisiana. Cooke said he felt compelled to speak to the Civil Rights Movement., and the hardships he and all the blacks around him endured for being involved.
“Change Is Gonna Come”
2014 — Allan Harris, with Doug Wimbish and the 21st Century Freedom Riders, sings Sam Cooke‘s “Change Is Gonna Come,” at the end of his first performance of “The Bridge” at WLRN (PBS Radio) in Miami. (January 17, 2014), Michelle Obama’s 50th Birthday, mentioned near the end of the song.
& Happy Birthday Michelle Obama
((( song )))
— Reg Lancaster
Martin Luther King Jr.
The Voice for Freedom and Justice for All
May 4, 1961 — THE FIRST FREEDOM RIDE (BUS CARAVAN) LEAVES WASHINGTON, D.C., SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE IN NEW ORLEANS, MAY 17, 1961.
b/ Little Axe (1994)
((( song )))
— Underwood Archives / Getty Images
MAY 14, 1961 — Upon its arrival in Anniston, Alabama, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)-sponsored Greyhound bus was firebombed by a group of angry white men. They were angry at the blacks who were protesting (peacefully) the unlawful segregation of public transportation in the south, and angry at the whites (mostly from the north east) who were riding in support of the African American cause.
FREEDOM RIDERS — Black and White Civil Rights Activists rode interstate buses (Greyhound/Trailways) into the segregated south, protesting (peacefully) the Southern states that had ignored the United States Supreme Court decisions ruling the segregating of public transportation was unconstitutional.
Southern states ignored the Supreme Court, and the federal government had done nothing to enforce laws against segregation.
FREEDOM ROAD — Groups made up of oppressed African American Activists and young whites (many Jewish) boarded Greyhound buses in New Jersey, and embarked on a dangerous journey, south, through Tennessee, Louisianna, Mississippi, Alabama, and east to Florida and back up the East Coast, through Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia, before ending in Washington D.C.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’s ARREST IN ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA.
Along the way, the Freedom Riders were often met by violent white segregationists, including local law enforcement, showing their defiance of recent Supreme Court rulings against segregated public transportation.
n 1961 — ALAN SHEPARD
n 1962 — JOHN GLENN
FEB. 20, 1962 FRIENDSHIP 7 / FIRST AMERICAN TO ORBIT EARTH.
Thirteen Days (2000)
A Dream Come True?
Martin Luther King
w/The Funk Brothers (Motown)
((( audio )))
Photograph b/ James P. Blair
August 28, 1963 — Two years after the first Freedom Ride, and at the end of THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON FOR JOBS AND FREEDOM. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream“ speech, and called for voting rights, overall economic justice, and to end racism in the United States.
The Birmingham Bomb Heard Around The World …
September 15, 1963 — A KKK bombing at the 16th Street Church in Birmingham, Alabama killed four young girls, and marked a turning point in the fight for civil rights. Paul McCartney has said the bombing in Birmingham, and racial tension in America was inspiration for his writing “Blackbird,” a song featured on The Beatles White Album.
Hearing the story of The Little Rock Nine (the nine African American children who faced anger, discrimination, and white nationalists, after enrolling in the all-white Little Rock Central High School in 1957, and later Ruby Bridges, Rockwell was inspired to make his artistic and political point about the the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. the Board of Education decision to desegregate America’s public schools.
GREEN BOOK — Green Book builds a feel-good comedy atop an artifact of shameful segregation. Yikes … The movie is named after the early ’60s guides published for black travelers in America’s segregated South. But its spin is all Hollywood. — Vox.com
After marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Martin Luther King Jr., and being nearly beaten to death by the Alabama State Police, John Lewis spent the rest of his life, fighting for the same voting rights he thought he had won 50 years before.
— CBS (2015)
March 7, 1965 — On the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, march organizer, Georgia congressman John Lewis, who was assaulted and battered that day by Alabama State police officers, re-visited the bridge, and told the story to Bob Schieffer on CBS’ Face the Nation.
((( song )))
Spike Lee won his first Oscar at the (2018) Academy Awards. The iconic director was recognized for writing the best adapted screenplay for BlacKkKlansman ((( video ))). In his acceptance speech, Lee honored American slaves, and made a call to action in the (2020) presidential election.
In his acceptance speech, Lee didn’t shy away from politics. “Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history,” he said. “Make the moral choice between love versus hate. “Let’s do the right thing!”
The New York City filmmaker was previously nominated for two Oscars—Best Original Screenplay for Do the Right Thing and Best Documentary for 4 Little Girls. He was also nominated for Best Director.
The documentary series about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States of America originally aired on the PBS network (1987). Created and executive-produced by Henry Hampton at the film production company Blackside, and narrated by Julian Bond. The series uses archival footage, still photographs, and interviews of participants and opponents of the movement. The title of the series, which is used to open each episode, is derived from the folk song “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize.”
Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954–1965 — The time between the United States Supreme Court(1954)Brown v. Board of Education ruling, to the (1965) Selma to Montgomery Marches.(Six episodes, aired January 21 to February 25, 1987.
Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads 1965–1985 — The time between the national emergence of Malcolm X (1964) and the election of Harold Washington as the first African-American mayor of Chicago(1983). (Eight episodes, aired January 15 to March 5, 1990)
1968 — When Paul McCartney heard the story of The Little Rock Nine, it inspired his writing the song “Blackbird,” that appeared on the Beatles White Album. (The African American children who, after enrolling in the all-white Little Rock Central High School in 1957, faced the most ugly anger of the white nationalists who populated the area. The first, and most notable, segregation of a public school after the Supreme Court’s historic Brown vs. the Board of Education decision.
1976 — Alex Haley’s book, Roots: The Saga of an American Family., was adapted by ABC as a television miniseries of the same name and aired it in 1977 to a record-breaking audience of 130 million viewers. In the United States, the book and miniseries raised the public awareness of black American history and inspired a broad interest in genealogy and family history. (ancestory.com)
Abraham, Martin, and John
b/ Marvin Gaye That’s The Way Love Is (1970)
Dion DiMucci (1967)
Today, under assault by a white nationalist-controlled government, Civil and Voting Rights in America have never needed advocates more … Those who believe in a democratic way of life … Those who care about more than themselves … Those willing to stand up and fight for the underprivileged, the overlooked, the lonely, and the forgotten.
Not a Norman Rockwell Homecoming — Buttons & Cookies in Vietnam. Tom returns to strangers in the house. Parents had moved to the other side of East Hartford, Connecticut.
Homecoming @ Bradley International (2005) — A Navy surgeon’s family greets his flight, arriving in Hartford, Connecticut.
• “Back In The U.S.A.”
2015 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day
THE BRIDGE (COMPLETE POMPANO BEACH PERFORMANCE)
@ The Pompano Beach Community Center
Pompano Beach, Florida ((audio))
2005 — Homecoming @ Bradley International (2005) — A Navy surgeon’s family greets his flight, arriving in Hartford, Connecticut.
Not Quite a Norman Rockwell Homecoming — Cousin Tom (Perrone) Buttons & Cookies, Meeting Lt. Col. Uncle Jack in Saigon, and returning home (East Hartford) to strangers in his house. His parents forgot to tell him that they had moved to a new house, across town.
“No Sell Out” (Malcolm X)
1984 — Keith Leblanc vs. Sugar Hill
“No Sell Out,” Keith Leblanc, with the blessing of friend Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X’ widow, made a recording of Malcolm X speeches, cut to a mix of his drum beats and electronic creations.
1956 — Calypso
Dick Gregory & Medgar Evers
1962 — The laughs came because Dick Gregory was fearless the delivery of his hard-truth, anti-racist message to a mostly white, TV-watching audience. Gregory’s popularity grew fast. Gregory’s reputation was as one of the best stand up comedians working in the early 1960s, and even better when considering his seriously addressing the racial inequality he saw everywhere around him. Always funny and thoughtful, and when he met Medgar Evers in 1962, his anti-racism mission became absolute.
For The Love of Cotton
Southern Currency … Soft and White.
No Matter Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation, and an attempt at Reconstruction, The “United” States of America remained a segregated country until Martin Luther King Jr. led a Civil Rights movement that ended with President Lyndon Baines Johnson signing The Voting Rights Act of 1965. completely segregated (Black and White) country. It took more than one hundred years after the African American slaves had been “Free”d, after their Exodus North, away from the Anglo-Saxon men who believed themselves “superior,” and that their field workers and “house niggers” were “property” to be used, not human beings to cared for.
“I Can See Clearly Now”
b/ Johnny Nash
On The Road (Beat Street)
March 12, 1922 / October 21, 1969
1957 — On the Road made Kerouac an American icon, the leader of the Beat Generation
b/ Ansel Adams
((( LISTEN )))
“Moonrise” Hernandez, New Mexico (b/ Ansel Adams)
1941 — Moonrise Hernandez, New Mexico
b/ Ansel Adams
Betting On The Desert
1950— The Rat Pack