The Flowing Waters of Lake Jefferson

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Folk Plus airs Saturdays from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on WJFF at 90.5 Jeffersonville, NY. and 94.5 in Monticello.
We Hydro-powered Public Radio serving the Mid-Hudson Region, North East Pennsylvania, and the Upper Delaware Valley.
The station's website and stream, including archived shows are online at WWW.WJFFRADIO.ORG 

Saturday, February 20, 2011
Civil Rights and A Night Without Stars

African American James Chaney, and two white New Yorkers, Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24—were murdered near Philadelphia, in Nashoba County, Mississippi. They had been working to register black voters in Mississippi during Freedom Summer and had gone to investigate the burning of a black church. They were arrested by the police on trumped-up charges, imprisoned for several hours, and then released after dark into the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, who beat and murdered them. It was later proven in court that a conspiracy existed between members of Neshoba County's law enforcement and the Ku Klux Klan to kill them.

Today you will hear "A Night Without Stars" , which is the work of KDHX dj Pablo Meshugi [Paul Stamler]  He interviewed Michael Schwerner's cousin, Barbara Umbogy, and compiled this special with appropriate field recordings. Schwerner's cousin was part of a group who launched a petition to reopen the case. This eventually happened and lead to"preacher" Edgar ray Killen to be convicted of mansalughter.

The jury of nine whites and three blacks rejected the charges of murder, but found preacher Edagar Ray Killen guilty of recruiting the mob that carried out the killings. He was sentenced on June 23, 2005, and he remains in jail today. Talk about overdue justice, the conviction of Edgar Ray Killen who was  41 years to the day after the killings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964.

I am so thankful to Paul Stamler for sending me this hour which originally aired on KDHX-St. Louis 2/27/00.

1. Introduction by Paul:

"This was a special program. In 1964 three civil rights workers -- James Chaney, Andrew Goodman & Michael Schwerner -- were murdered in Mississippi for their work in voter registration at a time when only a small percentage of the black citizens of Mississippi had been permitted to register. No murder charges were ever filed, although the murderers were well known throughout the area. In 1999 Michael Schwerner's cousin, St. Louis artist Barbra Umbogy, went back to Mississippi with "Freedom Ride 99" to remember the three men with a memorial, and to petition for the reopening of the case, that the murderers might be brought to justice.

On her return, she wrote an essay, "June 21, 1964: The Night Without Stars". A few weeks ago, she read that essay into my tape recorder, sitting in a darkened St. Louis loft building as the moon went into eclipse outside her windows. I edited that tape together with field recordings from the civil rights movement and music from African-American tradition to produce this program.

Here was the music that was woven into the show; unless otherwise noted, all tracks were taken from Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, Smithsonian/Folkways."

2. Blind Willie Johnson: Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground
from Praise God I'm Satisfied Yazoo

Barbara Umbogy reads her reactions and memories about the disappearance of her cousin, Michael Schwerner along with his friends, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman. Blind Willie Johnson's music is dispersed throughout.

3. Mary Pinckney: Been in the Storm So Long

4. Alabama Christian Movement Choir : I'm On My Way

5.  Barbara Umbogy reads

6.  SNCC Freedom Singers: Woke Up This Morning

7.   Barbara Umbogy reads

8.  Montgomery Improvement Assn. Highschool trio: Keep Your Hand On That Plow
 from Sing For Freedom Smithsonian /' Folkways

9.   Barbara Umbogy reads. They visit the burial site, sing and leave flowers and stones from home.

10.   Betty Mae Fikes: This Little Light of Mine

11.  Hollis Watkins: Oh, Freedom

12.   Barbara Umbogy reads.

13.  Kim & Reggie Harris with Magpie (Francis Taylor/Pete Seeger)
 Those Three Are On My Mind -  Where Have All the Flowers Gone - Appleseed -

14.    (Interview Continues)

15.  SNCC Feedom Singers: We'll Never Turn Back

16.  Fannie Lou Hamer: Go Tell It on the Mountain

17. Paul's closing statements.

The killing of the three civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman & Michael Schwerner in June of 1964 horrified the American public and brought attention to the degree of oppression that existed in the South. The civil rights movement received greater media coverage and support in the wake of the murders.  “My husband, Michael Schwerner, did not die in vain,” said Rita Schwerner. “If he and Andrew Goodman had been Negroes, the world would have taken little notice of their deaths. After all, the slaying of a Negro in Mississippi is not news. It is only because my husband and Andrew Goodman were white that the national alarm has been sounded,” from On This Day.

18. Phil Ochs - Heres to the State of Mississippi - There But for Fortune - Elektra

19. David Roth & Anne Hills - That Kind of Grace - Rising in Love - Folk Era

20. Kate Campbell - Crazy in Alabama - Visions of Pleanty - Compass

21. Ben Bedford - Land of the Shadows [For Emmett Till] -Land of the Shadows -  Hopeful Sky records

22. David Massengill - Number One in America - Coming UP For Air - Flying Fish

23. Odetta - Freedom Trilogy - Gonna Let it Shine - MC records

24.  Dougie MacLean - Slave's Lament - Indigenous - Dunkeld Records

25.  Magpie - Goodby to Old Ohio - Sword of the Spirit - Sliced Bread

26. Magpie - Captain - Sword of the Spirit - Sliced Bread

John Brown (May 9, 1800 – December 2, 1859) was a revolutionary abolitionist  who advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery for good.  Historians agree that the Harpers Ferry raid in 1859 escalated tensions that, a year later, led to secession and the American Civil War.

27.  Jack Hardy - Ebenezer Creek - White Shoes - Prime Cd

28. Kim and Reggie Harris - Get On Board - Get On Boared - Appleseed Recordings

29.  Paul Robeson - No More Auction Block - Classic Folk Music - Smithsonian Folkways

30. Guy Carawan - We Shall Overcoe - Classic protest Songs - Smithsonian

Folk Plus is a blend of contemporary and older singer songwriters with perhaps spoken word or Broadway tunes, or whatever may be relevant to the theme.  The station's website and stream are online at WWW.WJFFRADIO.ORG  

Thanks to staff and station management for accommodating Angela's health issues and maintaining a chemical and fragrance free environment. Complying with these accommodations allow her to continue to volunteer Saturday mornings. Thanks also to John Webber for handling website and recording issues for Folk Plus.

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