Today, WPFW is commemorating Independence Day with "Let Freedom...Sing: a vocal music multicultural celebration of America" and Union City Radio is proud to explore that theme with a special "Let Freedom...Sing: Voice of the Workers" show.
For the next hour, from Paul Robeson to Woody Guthrie and Rihanna to Cesar Chavez, Howard Zinn and a whole lot more folks, we’re going to listen to a people’s perspective on patriotism. As you’ll hear, this is not a flag-waving “my country, right or wrong” kind of patriotism. Instead, it’s a commitment to fundamental human rights for all people around the world.
Click below to see the show line-up, with links to the full videos.
Over 30 choirs from all over the UK singing Billy Bragg's "Internationale" at the massed sing that was held at Jubilee Square in Leicester on June 25 as part of the 2016 Street Choirs Festival.
The People Speak (trailer)
A powerful film inspired by Howard Zinn's groundbreaking books "A People's History of the United States" and "Voices of a People's History of the United States."
Yankee Doodle - Pete Seeger
Seeger was blacklisted during the McCarthy Era; subpoenaed to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Seeger refused to name personal and political associations on the grounds that this would violate his First Amendment rights. "I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs," he said. "I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked."
Robert Reich's Fourth of July message about patriotism
Reich is an American political commentator, professor, and author, and was Secretary of Labor from 1993 to 1997.
Rihanna - American Oxygen
From her 2015 album "R8." The song's co-writer Sam Harris says he listened to a lot of Bruce Springsteen when he was writing "American Oxygen," and says that Springsteen "really gets it. He gets that there's pride to living here in this country. This country is great and has the potential to be something really, really incredible, but there are a lot of problems that we don't acknowledge and it's important to shed light on both those things."
What is Patriotism?
Actress Sandra Oh reads the speech given by Anarchist Emma Goldman in San Francisco before the United States entered WWI. Part of a reading from Voices of a People's History of the United States given October 5, 2005 in Los Angeles California. Emma, who worked as a seamstress as a young girl in my hometown of Rochester, New York, is a hero to the American labor movement; she once told a crowd of unemployed workers:
“demonstrate before the palaces of the rich; demand work. If they do not give you work, demand bread. If they deny you both, take bread."
Democracy - Leonard Cohen
Cesar Chavez (2014) - Have You Read the Bill of Rights?
Chavez, is, of course, the American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962. In this scene, Chavez, a second-generation Mexican-American, a high school drop-out and a U.S. Navy vet, schools the local cops on the American Bill of Rights.
"The House I Live In" - Paul Robeson
Cohen, who said that “It’s not an ironic song. It’s a song of deep intimacy and affirmation of the experiment of democracy in this country. That this is really where the experiment is unfolding. This is really where the races confront one another, where the classes, where the genders, where even the sexual orientations confront one another. This is the real laboratory of democracy.”
When You Have to Prove Your Patriotism in the United States
Mark Twain on Patriotism (Howard Zinn)
Howard Zinn on "Patriotism"
The Problem is Civil Obedience (Matt Damon reads Howard Zinn)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - This Land Is Your Land - Live/1975-85
The Internationale-Billy Bragg
Branford Marsalis - "Star Spangled Banner"