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Posted: 2010 02-11


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“You have to actually sing this song. You can never tell when you might need it.”

I had a dream — there were these peaceful marchers and artists walking around the country, sometimes singing at these joyous gatherings in parks, and sometimes walking desolate roads in the middle of the night in very dangerous places.  Sometimes they’d get beaten, but other times they were only arrested, or spit on, or downed by water cannons.

But like Biblical heroes, they just kept walking through the valley of death to the promised land they had only hope was ahead — as their heads were clubbed from behind, and they were lynched just for fun. But the group kept walking.  And singing.  And talking.  And sharing.  Super human resolve.   And then it began to get a little lighter, and a little lighter, and a little lighter.

And suddenly I woke up and one of them was the President.  And there’s the mother singer.  The young skinny one might be a big vote-getter, but he still knows who’s boss.  In one of the most priceless moments you’ll ever see, the goosebump-rising Mama Rutha puts a stop to the song and tells her children what they need to do.

These are the three original Freedom Singers.  Lead singer Rutha Harris was jailed four times for her efforts, and now here she and they are inside the White House when not long ago they couldn’t go inside a restaurant.  These are the living heroes of our lifetime — the inspiration in a real-life heroic epic where the good guys win in the end.

But with singers like this, I don’t see how we could lose.  


Ben Marshall's picture

That made my day, thanks.

YouTube Uploader: The Obama White House
The Obama White House

The Freedom Singers perform "(Ain't Gonna let Nobody) Turn me Around" at the White House Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement.

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