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Music and Stories of the Civil Rights Movement with Performer & Educator Mary D. Williams

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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Performer and educator Mary D. Williams has built her career through the study of North Carolina history and culture through the lens of Black gospel. In this program, she will share some music and discuss the importance and impact of songs from the Civil Rights Movement.

Music was a powerful, vital component of the Civil Rights Movement, and many of the songs that were part of the movement began as spirituals within the slave community that were re-purposed (and sometimes changed lyrically) into what we know today. During the Civil Rights Movement, singers and musicians shared music among themselves through oral tradition and call response in large activist meetings.

Williams is one of the country’s leading African American vocalists and educators. She has traveled to a wide range of venues to perform songs and narratives of the Black South, from several hundred public schools to colleges and universities, to festivals, civil rights symposiums at home and abroad, and more. She has performed for the United States Congress and the North Carolina State Capitol, as well as concerts for men and women who are incarcerated in the state and county penitentiaries, benefit performances for cancer patients, domestic violence victims, and homeless victims. She also leads teacher training programs. Williams has performed at the National Folk Festival in Greensboro, and with NC actor and writer Mike Wiley on the theatrical adaptation of Dr. Timothy Tyson’s book Blood Done Sign My Name, which tells the history of the events in Oxford, NC, in the summer of 1970, after a white store owner and his sons killed a Black veteran in the small North Carolina town. Williams also provided her voice to the soundtrack for the Hollywood movie adaptation of that story, directed by North Carolina’s own Jeb Stuart (February 2010), and she’s been featured on Dick Gordon’s The Story on National Public Radio.

We hope you will make plans to join us; space is limited!

NOTE: This workshop will be recorded and distributed to registered attendees for use as a learning tool. A highlights video will be produced and shared to promote future workshops and events.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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