Thanks, Pete

By Barbara Joye

Pete_Seeger.jpg 

Like many of you, I woke up this morning to the news of Pete Seeger’s death. As I read the many reviews of his life’s accomplishments and controversies that followed, I struggled to temper my sadness with thankfulness that I had been able to hear him in person a few times -- at my progressive high school during his blacklisted years; headlining a benefit for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (where he introduced a then unknown Phil Ochs); at the Highlander Center in Tennessee; and, just two years ago, co-hosting, with Harry Belafonte, a benefit for the American Indian political prisoner Leonard Peltier.

I missed the New York DSA event at which I am told he sang, as I had moved to Atlanta by then, but I met friends of his within weeks of arriving in my new city. His friends and followers were everywhere.

He touched my life, our lives, in so many ways that I was at a loss for words, so I turned to one of his old friends, Frank Hamilton, who lives and performs in Atlanta. Frank was briefly a member of the Weavers (1962-3) and together with Pete Seeger, Guy Carawan and Zilphia Horton arranged the civil rights version of “We Shall Overcome.” He and his wife and singing partner Mary Hamilton sent this tribute: 

"Pete was the guiding light behind the folk music movement, celebrating the possibility for social change, inspiring everyone with whom he came into contact; not just a great performer but an important educator and visionary who showed us that we can have a better world if we just plant the seeds for it in whatever seemingly small things we do.  His music will resonate around the globe, a model for what music can do as a powerful source of improvement for our ailing country.  Through his music, we understand what socialism means and its healing properties."

Barbara Joye is recording secretary of Metro Atlanta DSA and a member of DSA’s National Political Committee.

Individually signed posts do not necessarily reflect the views of DSA as an organization or its leadership

DSA Queer Socialists Conference Call

August 21, 2017
· 22 rsvps

Join DSA's Queer Socialists Working Group to discuss possible activities for the group and its proposed structure. 9 pm ET/8 pm CT/7 pm MT/6 pm PT.

 

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
· 41 rsvps

Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
· 23 rsvps

 

Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.