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tv   Book Discussion on Nothing But Love in Gods Waters  CSPAN  November 14, 2015 1:54pm-2:22pm EST

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another thing we are concerned about when it comes to the improper journalism is access to information. most people could not get on the internet. you couldn't get the hard copy of the paper. how are we going to transfer information in a crisis, the technology or communication blackout? getting information -- news organizations will refer their resources to ensure that crisis information is brought to the public through the news media but how do you as a public get the information you know you need to be able to if you are trapped in the situation get your information out and all these other things, we try to map a little bit when we wrote this book some of the ways in which the public were able to call radio stations which was the traditional way of saying no
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one has been to the radio anymore. and how many in baton rouge turned on the radio and was listening. and try to emphasize in the book something that in the crisis radio is still operating. journalists have a tool, and landlines. and able to get enforcement, and try to understand the crisis. whatever it is, with the more traditional platforms. >> we talk about some take aways, for you to read through,
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this is in our conclusion when we talk about accuracy, specialized journalism, the bp oil spill, we needed people with experience to cover that. community focus, call to action, more advocacy journalism, importance of crisis and trauma training for journalists, often on the frontline, they get their office and first responders, that is a big deal land that access to information. we have a few minutes and wanted to see if anybody had any questions. [inaudible question] >> do you think there is any potential danger or potential conflict between that sort of we are all in this together spirit and sort of mission of our jet
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to the in having some distance from the policies of the makers? >> the danbury bridge is a great example. the shooting on that bridge, the journalist took at face value what the police reported about that and actually held them as heroes, saving, watching over this city when those police officers are on trial shooting unarmed people. when you are too comfortable with the authorities when they are in your town a lot of things are overlooked and we do talk about that and address that in your book. sometimes it does stepped over, kind of a fine line. talking about forces and accuracy and making sure you have to be careful with that aspect, that you are not too comfortable, that you overlook
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things your natural journalistic instincts say that is not right. so yes, there is that problem. >> what do you think the effect is that allows reporters, there are less of them. i am a cub reporter, i don't get a chance, i wish i had more items. have you seen an effect as you observe and media of not being there? >> one of the things, we haven't really lost a lot of veterans, just that the cuts. it has been mixed between judging everyone, there's a new relationship, ala shuffling of the deck, we lost some veterans,
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having an interesting experience with competition. if the story is lost in one area and doesn't show up in another area, that is the story. in one specific news organizations they lost their veterans so the new ones who don't have the katrina frame of reference will meet one. in terms of getting that. i don't necessarily think that is the expertise, it is broken up a little bit. that maybe is the good thing or even a better thing. trying to revisit some of the things lost in the heat of coverage. >> any other questions? thank you, ladies, for the very
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thought provoking presentation because it me to rethink the media's representation of hurricane katrina. i know you enjoyed this presentation as well. if you would like to talk with these ladies a little later on they will have their book signing in the book tent at 1:15 to 2:00 at the barnes and noble book signing tent. ..
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angry and beaten people. i found that it had a level of endurance and explosiveness that has been difficult for academics to get a handle on.
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for one thing, we are not comfortable doing things of faith and trying to quantify how the religious aspects of black sacred music was transformed into political action or how it made a few thousand people take on an entire country. maybe it is something that we cannot quantify in this world,, but i give it my best shot. but in the course of doing research i would write about songs that would be the foundational music for all american popular music because all modern american popular music comes from the worksite and spirituals of the slaves, the african-american community. and these would be the songs that would be rewritten and changed and transformed and not only number one hits that part of american dreamscape.
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and yet when i wanted to here that song i could not find it. it would not be available for love of money. not amazon, ebay, any other facet. any other facet. so i got angry and hurt an editorial and sent it to the by god new york times which gets 800 a week,800 a week, and they ran it. essentially i said, if this current generation allows the vinyl record, the golden age of gospel music which not an coincidently follows the rise of the civil rights movement in this country and the time of the most power of the african-american church, if we let this music disappear, future generations will deal with this very harshly. in fact, it may be a sin. after that editorial ran, i got a call from engine room in new york they said know you are much of a black music, but i think you are right and we need to do something about this music. the figure out how to save it and i will pay for. from that black gospel music restoration project was founded and is now the largest and we have found
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now 20,000 pieces of vinyl, and it arrives every day. we will return originals of the owners. just let us have a chance to save this music. 75% is lost. that was great fun, and it turned into a near full-time job for someone trying to keep a day job on everything from the new york times to the bbc world circus because i think people got it. here is where this book comes from. the vinyl started arriving, particularly the 40 fives comeau we would flip them over. for you young people the 45 is a small one. the 40 fives would have a hit side, and on the other side there would be
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sometimes just a throwaway track, but during the civil rights movement an astonishing number of artists would put a civil rights related song on the bottom. ain't no segregation in heaven. i believe martin luther king was right and versions of the various freedom songs. this issongs. this is dangerous stuff, particularly during the height of the civil rights movement, and yet there they were. these started coming in, and none of these databases have any of these songs. there is not a database. every jazz song has been recorded, every blues, country, book after book, discography, catalogs online , and one book has been done on gospel songs and certainly nothing on definitive. and we found stuff in the 1st few months that was not in that one catalog which is typed on hand with loosely. so, it got me thinking
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command i saw a connection between these flip sides and the double voice sickness of the spirituals. the spirituals, which on the surface were praising god and asking for an easy way through the tough times to the heaven to come, but within the circle it gave them a bunch of messages. many of them were not singing about a heavenly river jordan but how to get over the ohio river. there were some songs which were a map showing step-by-step how to get from a certain plantation across the ohio river. others were teaching and counting and songs about the months of the year. songs telling when someone got away. spirituals never wore the same. the spirituals we know i like a polaroid snapshot. a snapshot.
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what onewhat one spirituals sounded like him one night on one plantation. but on the next plantation they were doing it differently. by the next night that same spiritual would be different still because they were always improvised. there is no definitive version. and so they were used to create a culture. when you cannot read, live to teach a slave to read is punishable by death. can have shoes, do art, do anything, not even meet in large groups. the only thing left to you is singing. and these great nations in west africa that were far advanced of what was going on in western europe at the time, working sewers, gas lights, armies, a post office while we were still climbing out of the dark ages. a resourceful, intelligent,
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powerful culture. and i use the one thing they had to create a culture command they used it for training, teaching, and rebellion. some people think the very 1st spiritual may have been the 1st act of rebellion on the american shores. youyou have this deep context, and these songs that had survived through the civil war, which is where volume one picks up and they seem to go dormant for a while. in many ways is that is slavery. the great labor unions began to allow african-americans which is a time of great turmoil. american troops slaughter american workers and trying
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for what they are trying to do. where they were once just the kind of thing, you start getting it deep wellspring of soul in the spiritual they should not be moved of compute -- up-tempo popular songs to these great deep resistance unions had a 200 year history of singing as well. to go from the 1940s to the 1950s in the beginning of the montgomery bus boycott and look back at the early advisors for doctor king, many came directly from the labor movement.
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deep union background, so they knew the organizers, the funders, and the singing king,. king, of course, coming from the baptist church and the culture that saying, it created a perfect storm. so i am seeing these flip sides as part of a continuum. that set me on thinking that maybe there was something that had not been chronicled. i have a great fortune to spend time with taylor and david, two of the great historians on the movement and asked them command is there something here? you covered everything else, the personalities, the laws, the movement itself, the great forces at work here, government, politics. let's do something about the music. and they said yes. the 1st thing i went to was mahalia jackson well we were here in louisiana to hear her autobiography, a massive thing that has basically no dates, so we have to figure
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it out. hundreds and hundreds of mentions of how she was directly involved in the movement and they are all verifiable. but you go to taylor branch's massive three volume movement and she only has a couple dozen mentions. there was a disconnect that i thought was worth following. as wonderful as his pulitzer prize-winning work is. so my wife and i began what ended up being a nine-year journey not trying to track this music from then to now which is where we thought it would end. but we found out that that was not the case. we found out as we went to birmingham and interviewedan interview many of the people who fought on the daily battles that nightly meetings, they would start arriving at two or 3:00 o'clock and saying, and when the movement began at
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7:00 o'clock maybe they would have 15 or 20 minutes of instructions. 100 people should be here at the 16th st., baptist church, be arrested at noon, 206 treat to be arrested, another hundred downtown. and then they're would be a 45 minutesa 45 minute sermon, probably something greatest in american history night after night, king, abernathy, all involved. and they would sing for the next two hours and sing on their way home. so the most important time in the history of african-americans when the forces of not just the state of alabama are concerned but the rule of law andin the united states and only a dozen churches are on their side, one 10th of the african-americans of birmingham ever help. they sing and they sing and they sang, and it is true all the way across the history of the movement. they sang. and they sang
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songs to lift themselves up whenever beaten-down, sang songs to calm them down when they were too excited, songs excited, songs to recruit, entertain, instruct. many have multiple meanings even then because you are singing them in the face of your oppressor. as they stood behind the imaginary berlin wall, they were not just saying to keep themselves up but instructing nervous highway patrolman standing just feet away and one by one the highway patrolman and the other people drafted to serve asked to be relieved of duty.duty. they cannot handle the fact that they were being convicted. in this goes on every protest in every jail cell and every march, singing is the most dominant thing. i could not tell me a single speech,a single speech, cannot always room for the names of the leaders of the hometown, but if i asked them they could put their
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heads back and sing every spiritual freedom saw and could tell me why they sang it. so we had something special going. i spent these past nine and a half years gathering, going to oral histories, going to the african-american newspapers, to the socialist and communist newspapers because in the 1930s and 40s 40s1930s and 40s there were the only people writing about african-americans at all and people like john steinbeck writing about the signs that he heard somebody outside a camp of detroit, michigan being hauled off by an army of soldiers. saying and saying. now, the assassination of doctor king was already at a time when it seemed that perhaps they were losing
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there power. they were being parodied by the more militant african-americans who said nothing will get us killed quicker than singing we shall overcome. we need another song. at the rise of black power there were large swaths of the movement. the foot soldiers who continue to stand there day and night, they sang. with king's death and the debacle that ended up being resurrection city by the singing out less and less, i thought maybe we would end the side down note, but history or maybe god had other plans on these things. maybe it is karma, i don't know. we found that it never really did go away. in fact, i found clips of people singing we shall overcome at the berlin wall, singing we shall overcome in the arab spring, people who
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are not black, christians using this as a song as tanks rumbled on the streets in libya, lebanon, and cnn having footage of these people singing at the hong kong umbrella revolution. the whole group crushed by the tanks and they sing and sing and sang. the bbc did a story on the tibetan women's soccer team the group of women in the refugee camps, a soccer team to play in the fifo world cup for women and working on a badly slanted field of rocks mostly barefoot leaving refugee camps where they sell rape and hunger of use, they practiced in the snow and get good playing barefoot enough that they traveled to india and played aa number of the top indian women's teams and even beat some and eventually qualified for fee for to
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represent tibet. a certain government which does not recognize tibet crackdown and made sure that fifo did not allow them to come. the bbc radio footage of it as the woman standing on the snow blown field and holding hands and singing we shall overcome before they go home to the refugee camps. there is something powerful, transcendent, and life-changing going on. there is something that has been honed in the blood of slaves and courageous murders from 200 years. this is not popular music, not folk music, this is music if you are religious you would say right even be imbued with the holy spirit, music that sits and waits for the time. i great sora who writes
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about a wonderful character who could appear anywhere after a particularly savage beating, easily undeserved you listed out behind the cabin is back open and saying no one knows the trouble and hodge on the conqueror would appear and comfort him and john stories and make them laugh until he could somehow find the strength to laugh at the oppressors and working in to try to escape and then disappear and show up somewhere else and be a spirit of open rebellion that is always there, that always needed to be there. in the 1940sin the 1940s he wrote and said he would come back if we need him again. maybe she was talking about the holy spirit for some deeper african spirit, but she said something that resonates even now. much like king arthur is an ancient legend, the real
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deep legends of arthur say that arthur still lives inside some mountain and southern wales and that the time of england's greatest need he will emerge again to lead his people to freedom. person said that is withwhat the slave size and spirituals and later the freedom songs are. they are still there. a deep wellspring of power. they are being used around the world. and nobody in germany around.
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>> now we open up for questions. >> and researching, what is the one song that you have come across? >> if you can pick one? >> it is easier than i would have thought when i began. obviously we shall overcome which is a transformation from a very kind of magisterial church reading to by the end of memphis it now has a lot of soul and rhythm, a lot of cross things, the only major civil rights song does not have

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