HFVS Martin Luther King, Jr. Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Episode

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA
Tuesday evening @ 7pm

01/22/08 PLAYLIST

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The Indigos K-1 Class from the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School came down to the radio station for a field trip. They got to see one of VFR’s reggae programs airing live and took a tour of the production room. Each student took a turn on the mic and shown how sound is recorded and then aired. Together with Jason Threlfall on guitar, the entire class gathered in the production room and sang “The River is Flowing,” aired in this episode. Here’s a slide show from their visit. Thanks to Jason for taking pictures!



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Putting together this MLK episode was a great pleasure. It was very interesting to hear my co-host/daughter tell us what she’s learned about MLK in her kindergarten class and to share what her current understanding is of that time in American history. And it was interesting to hear her personalize the history by noting her father’s darker Mediterranean skin color. I could see fire in her eyes at the thought of someone discriminating against her daddy.

We featured several classic Civil Rights movement songs on this week’s show, including

  • This Little Light of Mine,” an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement and a song all children should learn as a source of inspiration as they face adversaries and hard times in this life.
  • We Shall Not Be Moved,” an African-American spiritual that was sung during the slave liberation movement and the Civil Rights Movement. A great song to teach your children as they learn to stand up for truth and justice.
  • If I Had a Hammer,” a song that’s been sung during the Labor Movement and the Civil Rights Movement
  • We Shall Overcome,” a song that originated back before the Civil War, that Pete Seeger and Joan Baez have been credited for popularizing.

Another great song that has become synonymous with the Civil Rights Movement is an African-American spiritual, “Oh Freedom,” which was sung by Joan Baez on the morning of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s great speech, “I Have a Dream.” Here’s a video of Joan Baez singing “Oh Freedom.”

“The fact that so many folksingers joined Dr. King in his effort to spread the word about civil rights was hugely relevant, not only because it brought a little added media attention to the effort, but also because it showed that there was a faction of the white community that was willing to stand up for the rights of African-Americans. The presence of folks like Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, Odetta, Harry Belafonte, and Pete Seeger alongside Dr. King and his allies served as an omen to people of all colors, shapes, and sizes that we are all in this together.”[source]

Check out PBS American Experience post Music in the Civil Rights Movements for more info on music from the time.

3 Comments on “HFVS Martin Luther King, Jr. Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

  1. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: The Making of a Dream on THE HISTORY CHANNEL
    Tuesday, February 5, 2008 at 6 am/5c

    “The observance of Martin Luther King Day provides an excellent opportunity to consider his contribution to United States history through the Civil Rights Movement. This documentary, produced in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, encapsulates in an engaging form the key events and experiences which shaped King’s leadership style and transformed American society. Educators,students and families will find the The Making of a Dream to be an ideal introduction to the life of Dr. King and the importance of this uniquely American holiday.

    “The Making of a Dream is a retrospective look at Dr. King as he became the most prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement. This 25-minute documentary includes original footage from major events in this movement as well as imaginative recreations of turning points in King’s own life. With commentary from popular actors, important politicians, and local Memphis residents, this program traces King’s life and legacy from the Montgomery Bus Boycott through the creation of a national holiday in his honor. Ordinary Americans of all backgrounds discuss their own compelling reasons why our nation celebrates this popular leader every January and why his memory still inspires us. The images and speeches captured in the documentary provide a thought-provoking and informative way for young people to consider how Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement have shaped modern America.

    Curriculum Links:
    “The Making of a Dream is useful for history, social studies and civics, as well as lesson plans which incorporate current events. It would be useful as well for youth group programs and activities. It is appropriate for middle and high school students. This documentary fulfills several National Standards for History Education guidelines as outlined by the National Council for History Education including:

    1. Values, Beliefs, Political Ideas and Institutions,
    2. Conflict and Cooperation,
    3. Comparative History of Major Developments.” (The History Channel)

    Teacher’s Guide Available: history.com/classroom

    Recommended DVD: Voices of Civil Rights DVD Set

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