26 January 2010

In Performance At The White House: A Celebration of Music From The Civil Rights Movement

Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Paul Stookey at The Lincoln Memorial, before performing at the March On Washington, August 28, 1963.

From The White House (via Chicago Sun-Times):

The 2010 White House Music Series begins on Wednesday, February 10th, when the President and First Lady will host "In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement" - a concert celebrating Black History month. Participants include Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Smokey Robinson, Seal, the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Howard University Choir and others. Morgan Freeman and Queen Latifah will serves as emcees for this concert which will feature songs from the Civil Rights Movement as well as readings from famous Civil Rights speeches and writings. The President will make opening remarks at this concert held in the East Room which will be streamed live on starting at 5.15 p.m. ET.

The concert will be televised on February 11th at 8.00 p.m. ET on public broadcasting stations nationwide as part of WETA Washington, D.C.'s "In Performance at the White House" series. NPR will also produce a one-hour concert special from this event for broadcast nationwide on NPR Member stations throughout the month of February, beginning February 12th. The special will be available on

As part of this special event, Mrs. Obama will host "Music that Inspired the Movement," a workshop that several of the event's performers will lead for 120 high school students from across the country on Wednesday, February 10th from 1.00 p.m. - 2.00 p.m. ET. The students will come to learn about the continuing relevance of music from the Civil Rights Movement to today's generation and its original impact in the 1960s. The event will be streamed live on and students all over the country will be invited to watch and engage in the workshop.


Bob Dylan sings "When The Ship Comes In" at the March On Washington.

"People Get Ready," written by the great Curtis Mayfield and performed by his group The Impressions in 1965. Mayfield was inspired by the throngs that gathered at the Lincoln Memorial two years earlier.

Pete Seeger talks about the history of "We Shall Overcome." And scores of artists sing it in honor of Seeger's 90th birthday party at Madison Square Garden last year.

Mavis Staples & The Blind Boys of Alabama sing the civil rights standard "Eyes On The Prize."

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