Folksinger Dar Williams ’89 is back on campus, teaching Music Movements in a Capitalist Democracy through the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life. On Oct. 3, the class gathered in Zelnick Pavilion to sing songs associated with the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1960s—”If I Had A Hammer,” “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round,” “We Shall Overcome,” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” among them. Joining the class and accompanying on his guitar was folksinger Peter Yarrow, perhaps most widely known as a member of the Peter, Paul and Mary trio, as well as a political activist.
Students hold hands and sing “We Shall Overcome.”
Along with the singing, Yarrow reminisced about protests he’d been part of—in this country and South Africa—championing equal rights for all.
Yarrow offered slightly tongue-in-cheek advice from his experiences: “If you’re going to get arrested, it’s good to have a few members of the clergy with you.” He movingly recalled being on the platform in Washington, D.C., with the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement when someone asked the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Tell us about your dream, Martin,” and the Rev. Dr. King began his famous speech.
Students sing along. Pictured at right, in the back, is Tom Morgan, the Foss Professor of Physics, a folksinger, himself.
A capella renditions of “This Little Light of Mine” and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round,” began the afternoon, before Williams and Yarrow took out their guitars.
Rob Rosenthal, provost, vice president for academic affairs, and the John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology; Pam Tatge ’84, director of the Center for the Arts; and Mary-Jane Rubenstein, associate professor of religion, enjoy the folk tunes.