tv Tavis Smiley PBS March 27, 2013 12:00am-12:30am PDT
>>tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. yarrow. talk to peter has completed an album, "i'm in love with a big blue frog." we are glad you joined us. >> there is a saying that dr. king had that said there is always the right time to do the right thing. by doing the right thing. we know that we are only halfway and we have work to do. walmart committed $2 billion to
as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. >> and by contributions to your you. thank you. tavis: peter yarrow has always believed music can change lives for the better as part of the iconic group, peter paul & mary. they were there 50 years ago for the march on washington. they put together a concert for sandy hook elementary survivors,
and i have a great conversation with him as always. forever busy. the work does not stopped. the commitment is something we inherited. maryeavers, pete seeger, used to say if you seen, you have to lift me. the turning point came at the march on washington in 1953, and i remember when we were singing, people knew this song. it had been a big hit. us, andvis introduced he said, what should i say?
a music groupr that will express music. we were not there to entertain. we were there to express and to join other people. get all of a sudden, a quarter million people were singing the song. ♪ if i had a hammer, i would hammer in the morning, i would hammer in the evening, all over this land ♪ ♪ i would hammer out danger allwould hammer out love and andthis land ♪ ♪ i got a hammer and the bell
♪ and the song to sing all over this land ♪ ♪ it is the bell of freedom ♪ is the song of love between brothers and sisters all over land ♪nd, this .avis: you still got it, peter >> pete seeger is 93. >> i had him on the radio show. we talked about you and the group and this song. down,se songs get handed and they get changed by each generation. . was there three days ago
it is called the faith and politics pilgrimage. steps of thehe summer montgomery march, -- selma montgomery beach. there were 30 members of congress, led by john lewis and , and there was a point where they needed to express their solidarity, and that is where i saying, if i have i hammer. just recalling those little integrated, who are now doing extraordinary work, the important thing, "i'm in love with a big blue frog" is about civil rights.
the big blue frog at that time. in this alk about time we need to have a voters' rights act and who the big blue frogs are today besides the reappearance of racism in our society that exists. is that half way decent? with the bigove blue frog, a big blue frog loves me ♪ ♪ six-foot three ♪ i'm not worried about our kids ♪ ♪ i know they will turn out ♪ they will be good looking
because they will have my face, good swimmers because they will have his feet ♪ i'm in love with the big blue frog and of big blue frog love mean ♪ ♪ the neighbors are against it, and it is clear to me ♪ ♪it is probably clear to you ♪ they think values of the who are will go down the big blue frog then, and who are they down onow? lesbians, gays. .avis: hispanics, immigrants waxman and not just the family next door is blue or black -- >>
to say not just the family next ,oor is blue or black or jewish but they are trying to take the vote away. there is a big effort to make it or impossible for some people of a certain status or a certain group oratory on toion -- or poor or young not have equal access. >> just based on the questions asked and the statements made, there are a lot of folks who believe this provision of the voting rights act, which we will celebrate 50 years of in a couple years, people think that is going to be struck down when this decision is made. >> that is what we are afraid of. every generation, we not only
need voices that articulate. we need to put our voices together in song. this is a gentle way to talk to , so it is acceptance commo part and parcel of the continued -- of theego continued work. somebody please choose our operations. -- believes jews are averages. they are going to go to their graves like that. tavis: why a project aimed specifically at children? i mentioned you went to sandy hook, but we will talk about that. why a project aimed at the children for these issues? >> the adults are pretty much stuck with their beliefs. ofhave to end the cycle
pushing the other away. it builds from that bias to hatred and war. if we want to cut it off, we have to interrupt the cycle and let kids grow up in an environment in which they feel cared about, saves, where there is no name calling, notes humiliation, because if we do not the culture it injures them of the kids are going to feel so bad about themselves they are going to be depressed, they will hurt themselves, and others will hurt others. we need to have a society that cares about us. it is not just the kids problem. good >> over the next five
years, we are going to commemorate a number of seminal moments in american history. much of this you were around for. to it.e integral he went around for the -- you were not there for the emancipation proclamation signing, but the anniversary was this year. the march one washington. 50 years since those little girls were killed in the 16th street baptist church. i just wrote a piece in the huffington post about this, and i'm trying to lead the effort to get those little girls the congressional gold medal. you know that is the highest civilian honor this country can extend to any of our fellow citizens, for anyone around the
world like nelson mandela. it is the highest civilian honor you can achieve, and these killedd heroines who got in the basement of that church. literally not three months after the march on washington. king comes off as i have a dream speech, and he has to go to the eulogy. the only time we saw him cry. he publicly wet. three months after the march on washington 50 years ago, we are trying to get the congressional gold medal in time for this anniversary. when you get past all little girls, and next year is 50 years since the civil rights act, and the next year, 50 years since the voting rights act. selma and montgomery, you were just there for that event.
i am raising that to give viewers an arc of what happened over 50 years that we are going to be commemorating over the next five years. you were there for much of that. how you read the ark of american progress or lack thereof over --se five decades gammon's five decades? >> it is important for people to participate. the answer my friend is blowing in the wind ♪ the answer is slowing and went region flowing in the wind -- the answer is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ many years and some people exist before they are allowed to be free ♪ imagine seeing that in
washington. that gives you an emotional sense. it is a genius. when we started at the time of the civil rights movement, it gotted before 1963, but it its momentum. in our nation's capital, there were signs above the water fountains, the bathrooms. marion anderson could not sing at constitution hall, and i was just in birmingham. there is of black mayor. the town has grown, and there was a lynching once every three days. now we have an african-american president. that is a genius. taken the operation
respect program to israel and palestine and other countries as and as the united states, some of the people say, we do not like america for this, this, and this reason, but we admire you because look at how you can change. if we can mobilize ourselves to andbrate what we have done also come to terms with the fact but we have a long road to travel common we will fulfill justromises, but we cannot do it as adults. as adults we are in gridlock a lot. we have to educate our kids. was with this concert are produced -- i
produce and a couple but lost .heir child she is a wonderful singer. you cannot believe the tears. you cannot believe the love and heart. we have to unite and turn this pain into more loved. ask this,t naive to but why does it take her referred tragedies to birth love -- horrific tragedies to birth love? the fullot know .nswer, but i was just looking when we were in that church in birmingham with the little discussions were
with various people. the person who was the attorney, and there was a baker there -- a banker there. that is the way it was. blacks were this. make the scales fall from our , what can it take? it took courage. sang at the mary gravesite. it takes those incredible events to make us see what is going on. it is taking hurricane sandy to let us seriously think about global warming. takes us awayt from being foolish, from being ignorant, from being uncaring?
inspiration, love, and frequently on the back of history. referencing goodman, chaney, those young people killed in mississippi during the movement. had this experience myself when i traveled around the world. it meant a great deal of pride as you travel around the world. people do king, understand, it is one of the shining moments in american history, navigating our way through the civil rights era. barack obama is part of a new journey. around the world, and
people see that as a shining donele of what america has and what they are capable of, so we shall overcome. people understand that. >> blowing in the wind, if i had a hammer, these songs were sung when the walls came down in the soviet union. we were invited to sing at the anniversary, the first anniversary of the bloodless revolution. the nuns were putting flowers in the muscles of guns and takes. the point -- and takes. musicint i want to make, of this sort is not just around.
and ille, and in memphis, had on one side, the publisher, a very esteemed, and on the other side is his daughter. happen to ordinary people if the bomb goes off? they lie on the ground? moved. we all across our hands and started singing. becausey were in jail they wanted to integrate buses, they got now hold off and beaten up and thrown in jail. they said, we are not here to be bailed out. we are here to call attention to in justice.
say, what is going on? they have got broken bones. they are happy. why are they have been? tell them they cannot sing. they said, you cannot sing. you will sleep on coal and steel. steel.old did not sing to entertain each other. they sang to have a moment like we just had when i sang we shall overcome. about loving each other. we stand on the shoulders, gay and lesbians, women's rights, on the shoulders of the civil rights movement, which is the defining times of our country when we figured out if we stand together, it is a contentious
issue. is loveeter yarrow personified. i always walk a little taller every time he graces us with his presence in the studio. the name of the new children's book is called "i'm in love with a big blue frog." withcludes a cd recordings. john lewis is the last living person of the major speakers at the march on washington, and we expect to be joined by congressman lewis in the coming weeks as we move forward to the anniversary of the march on washington. for now, i love you, and i am always glad to have you on the show. >> you are one of the reasons -- you are young compared to me. we -- wenow how proud are asked the question, was it
worth it? what changed? articulate spokespeople and now came after us. tavis: i am going to blush. stop it. i love what mary said many going which is if you are to sing me, live me. if you are going to sing it, you have got to live in. that is it for our show. thanks for watching. as always, keep the faith. ♪ at pbs.org. tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with acclaimed actress thandie newton about her new series,
"rogue." we will see you then. >> there is a saying that dr. king had that said there is always the right time to do the right thing. i try to live my life every day by doing the right thing. we know that we are only halfway to completely eliminating hunger and we have work to do. walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s. as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. if >>