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Indybay Feature

Celebrating 75 Years of The Highlander Center: A Benefit Concert

Saturday, August 11, 2007
8:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Event Type:
Pat Wynne
Location Details:
Kehila Synagogue
1300 Grand Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94610

A Benefit Concert in Honor of the Highlander Center in Tennessee

Saturday, August 11: The Bay Area Rockin' Solidarity Labor Chorus and the Vukani Mawethu Chorus present songs of conscience and celebration. Proceeds will help send a singing contingent from both choruses to Tennessee's Highlander Center this Labor Day Weekend to help commemorate Highlander's 75 years of organizing.

The Highlander Education Center, based in rural Tennessee, has a long history of teaching and struggle, from training CIO organizers in the 1930s to defending immigrant rights today. Rosa Parks attended Highlander before she sat down on the bus. For decades, it was one of the few places in the South where white and black could work and socialize as equals.

Highlander has been a haven not only for movement organizers and leaders (including Dr Martin Luther King) but also for musicians and other cultural workers; its history echoes with their songs and stories. Pete Seeger and Hazel Dickens were frequent visitors as teachers and performers. The Center is the birthplace of the Civil Rights anthem, "We Shall Not Be Moved."

Over the last year and a half, the Rockin' Solidarity Labor Chorus and Vukani Mawethu have developed a program celebrating, in song and story, the untold history of Highlander. Performances of this program have been roundly acclaimed.

Now, the Highlander Center has invited the choruses to come perform at its 75th anniversary celebration on the Labor Day weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee. But the choruses need to raise money for the trip. The August 11 concert will raise funds for that purpose.

Vukani Mawethu was founded in the early 1980s by exiled anti-Apartheid activist James Madhlope Phillips to sing South African freedom songs. Over the years, it has broadened its repertoire to include anthems of the US Civil Rights movement and newly composed songs of political consciousness. Vukani Mawethu supports AIDS clinics and other projects in South Africa.
Added to the calendar on Mon, May 28, 2007 1:25PM
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