WASHINGTON, JULY 13, 2016 – The fourth annual March on Washington Film Festival opens tonight with “Songs of the Civil Rights Movement” at Metropolitan AME Church. Founded in 1962 in Albany, Georgia, the Freedom Singers worked to educate communities about the fight for civil rights through song.
The Singers’ concerts in schools, churches and jails became not only essential fundraisers for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), but also came to represent the soul of the movement.
Tonights performance opens with one of the founders of the Freedom Singers, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon, joined in a performance with the other surviving members of the original group, Rutha Mae Harris and Charles Neblett, followed by a discussion on the music they created and the movement they inspired.
“Songs of the Civil Rights Movement” is presented as part of the 2016 March on Washington Film Festival. Founded in 2013 on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the Festival features 17 different events including film screenings, discussions with filmmakers, performances, and panels on the groundbreaking activism of the 1960s as well as the movement’s current work towards justice and equality.
The full schedule for the March on Washington Film Festival can be found here.
WHAT: “Songs of the Civil Rights Movement,” presented by the March on Washington Film Festival
WHEN: July 13, 2016
WHO: Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon, with original members of the Freedom SingersRuth Harris, Charles Neblett,
Toshi Reagon, singer-songwriter
Ysaye Barnwell, vocalist, master teacher in African American cultural performance and founder of Building a Vocal Community
Shannon Dorsey, actress (Arena Stage’s All the Way, portraying Fannie Lou Hamer).
Moderator: Jacquie Gales Webb, award-winning radio personality and producer
WHERE: Metropolitan AME Church
1518 M St. NW
Washington, DC 20005