Singing from Selma to Montgomery

Smithsonian Features Freedom Songs Recorded During March

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Ava DuVernay’s 2015 film Selma celebrates the historic Civil Rights march and Smithsonian Folkways Records celebrate its music. “Freedom Songs: Selma, Alabama” was released 50 years ago and has never been out of print. The songs, recorded by fellow marcher Carl Benkert on a non-too-portable reel-to reel recorder, document the moving, determined voices of the marchers themselves. Read a short piece about the recording and listen to the tracks here. One of the songs, “Woke up This Morning with My Mind Stayed on Freedom,” figures prominently in Node One of Free/Phase proving that–as the Smithsonian article notes–that this continues to beĀ  “a compendium of march songs” that can inspire and be used for freedom.

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