Let Freedom Ring!

Celebrating Black History by Patti Miller

An Evening of Inspiration and Song

February 22, 2013

Featuring Mary Teague, Gloria Hardiman, Chris Weaver, Cymaron Dawson, Steve George, and Doug Daller

Oh Happy Day (Chris Weaver, lead singer; Doug Daller, piano; Cymaron Dawson, directing)

Oh Happy Day - Iowa Freedom Choir. The Iowa Freedom Choir performs at the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts in Fairfield, Iowa on February 22, 2013

We Shall Overcome (Rebecca Haven, soloist; Doug Daller, piano; Cymaron Dawson, directing)

We Shall Overcome - Iowa Freedom Choir. Music at 1:30. Patti Miller introduces this last song from the Let Freedom Ring! concert by the Iowa Freedom Choir performed at the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts in Fairfield, Iowa on February 22, 2013. Song intro by Rebecca Haven.

This Little Light of Mine (Mary Teague, soloist; Gloria Hardiman, directing

This Little Light of Mine - Iowa Freedom Choir. The Iowa Freedom Choir performs at the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts in Fairfield, Iowa on February 22, 2013.

From the playbill:

Welcome to Let Freedom Ring!

Recently, a New York Times article quoted a startling new Southern Poverty Law Center report that said, "Across the country, state educational standards virtually ignore our Civil Rights history."

Keeping History Alive Foundation (KHAF) was established to ensure that the lessons and triumphs of the modern Civil Rights Movement are not forgotten. One of HKAF's missions is to support young people, our leaders of tomorrow, to learn from our Civil Rights history and to discover their own ways to lead our country into a more enlightened future.

We appreciate that tonight you have come to meet some of these young leaders who are in the process of experientially learning about the lives of many of their fellow travelers throughout the history of Black America. They learned the songs that kept the Spirit of the Civil Rights struggle alive. We are grateful you are here to share that Spirit with them.

Next month, the Iowa Freedom Choir will travel through the deep South where so many struggles for justice and freedom took place. They will imbibe much of the history of places such as Memphis, Tennessee where Martin Luther King was assassinated and Birmingham, Alabama where young people bor the pain of police dog attacks and the brutal scars of fire hoses slamming them to the ground. The Choir will walk the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, the site of Bloody Sunday, where local police violently dispersed a group of peaceful marchers who simply sought the right to vote.

The trip will culminate with a joint concert with the Meridian Community College Gospel Choir, swelling their numbers to 70 voices, singing the Freedom Songs you will hear tonight.

Before, during, and after the trip, the students will be filmed and will journal their experiences. This material will be used to complete the documentary Return to Freedom Summer: Passing the Torch. This film will be used as one of the tools to help Keep HIstory Alive.

We are grateful for your support for this project and for your attendance here tonight. Enjoy this evening of stirring and transformative history!


Iowans Return To Freedom Summer - Trailer

Freedom Summer Volunteers Create “Freedom Schools” | Iowans Return to Freedom Summer

Freedom Summer volunteers set up temporary, free schools for black children and other community members in Mississippi in the summer of 1964. The ages of attendees in the schools ranged from young children to older adults. The schools taught academic skills as well as voter literacy, confidence, political organization, and other topics the students might not encounter in traditional school settings. In this video segment from Iowans Return to Freedom Summer, Marvin Gatch, Marcia Moore, Patti Miller, Lenray Gandy, and Richard Beymer describe their experiences with Freedom Schools in rural Mississippi during the summer of 1964.

Iowans Return To Freedom Summer

In the summer of 1964, hundreds of predominantly white college students answered the call from Civil Rights leaders to volunteer for Freedom Summer. They joined with voter registration efforts, taught in freedom schools and worked in community centers in towns throughout racially segregated Mississippi. This documentary This documentary features five native Iowans sharing why they felt compelled to volunteer.

This documentary Iowans Return to Freedom Summer, was funded by Keeping History Alive Foundation. Patti Miller, who appears as an interviewee in the film, is both the President of Keeping History Alive Foundation and the Director of the documentary.

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