WGBH Soundtrack for A Revolution: Freedom Songs
Out of the 60s was born the Great Society legislation of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, the same body of legislation that is under attack by Libertarian-Republicans today. see Great Society. John Birchers are notorious anti-civil rights, as are extreme Libertarians.
We must arouse the conscience of the Federal Government! – Martin Luther King
Watching the excellent WGBH American Experience program, Freedom Songs. Takes me back to the first time I visited a Baptist Church in the 60s. Passion and spirit was soaring in song. The blacks wanted equality and real freedom. Young middle-class kids wanted to be free from suburban hypocrisy. Mexican workers wanted to be free from wage discrimination. The labor struggle, the anti-war movement, the women’s movement, and civil rights movement all coalesced around music. And one of the most common songs uniting millions across all these spectrums of revolutionary change was, We Shall Overcome. But there were many other songs, many rooted in gospel and many in Appalachia.
Joss Stone is singing the powerful, Keep Your Eye On the Prize. Wow. And the beautiful Richie Haven is singing Will the Circle Be Unbroken. These songs transcend personality. It was, AND IS about the rights of all Americans. Each generation is tasked with the protection, preservation, and advancement of our rights. This is again one such time.
There is a DVD available, click here
Related: The Great Society was a set of domestic programs proposed or enacted in the United States on the initiative of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Two main goals of the Great Society social reforms were the elimination of poverty and racial injustice. New major spending programs that addressed education, medical care, urban problems, and transportation were launched during this period. The Great Society in scope and sweep resembled the New Deal domestic agenda of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but differed sharply in types of programs enacted.
Some Great Society proposals were stalled initiatives from John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier. Johnson’s success depended on his skills of persuasion, coupled with the Democratic landslide in the 1964 election that brought in many new liberals to Congress. Anti-war Democrats complained that spending on the Vietnam War choked off the Great Society. While some of the programs have been eliminated or had their funding reduced, many of them, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans Act and federal education funding, continue to the present. The Great Society’s programs expanded under the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Courtesy of Wikipedia