2-28-12: “Words of Protest, Words of Freedom”
Last week, President Barack Obama and other dignitaries broke ground on the National Mall for a new museum of African American history and culture. In his remarks, Mr. Obama said:
Just as the memories of our earliest days have been confined to dusty letters and faded pictures, the time will come when few people remember drinking from a colored water fountain, or boarding a segregated bus, or hearing in person Dr. King’s voice boom down from the Lincoln Memorial.
A new collection of poems inspired by many of the crucial events during the civil rights movement tells the story of that difficult period of our history through the voices of an international array of poets, some known, many unknown.
Our guest today is Jeffrey Lamar Coleman, associate professor of English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and editor of Words of Protest, Words of Freedom: Poetry of the American Civil Rights Movement and Era, published by Duke University Press.
Web extra: Jeffrey Lamar Coleman reads a poem from his collection: “Midway,” by Naomi Long Madgett: A programming note from Tom Hall:
Tonight at 9:00 p.m., please join me for Choral Arts Classics on WYPR. We’ll consider the poetry of Lucille Clifton, one of the poets included in Dr. Coleman’s anthology. She was the poet laureate of Maryland, and we’ll talk about her work with the executive director of the Howard County Poetry and Literary Society, Carla Du Pree, who knew and worked closely with Mrs. Clifton. We’ll also listen to a wonderful musical setting of some of her poetry.