We Shall Overcome: 200 Years of Singing for Justice in America

This program was created through a grant from The Indiana Arts Commission to Denise Wilson. 

When the power of music and the strength of the human spirit come together, the resulting force can tumble walls of oppression and open the way to justice, peace, and freedom. Throughout American history people have used songs to protest injustice, unite and empower those who suffer, and ignite people to action. Laws and lives have been transformed by the sustained efforts of ordinary people who made extraordinary sacrifices. Though drawn from the past, the songs in this program offer valuable insight, hope, and inspiration to all those who are fighting for peace and justice in the world today. 

These songs give voice to many groups of Americans who have worked in peaceful ways to overcome oppression: women, African-Americans, 19th -century factory workers, immigrants, coal-miners, civil rights activists during the 1960's, and the poor of many eras. Within the songs we hear the universal human yearning for dignity and basic human rights, a living wage, safe working and living conditions, the right to vote, and freedom from the many kinds of chains that have shackled bodies and spirits alike. 

These songs are a welcome reminder of the human capacity for compassion, sacrifice, and dedicated effort which will create a better world. 

[Note from presenter Denise Wilson] This program brings together my passion for music, my concern with the global human family, and my training in American history. Before music took center stage in my life, I received a Ph.D. in History and taught at the college level for seven years. 

Contact Denise Wilson: (765) 490-7882 


To hear "WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON" click the mp3 link below.

Listen to MP3