The Southern Movement Assembly and The National Council of Elders presents The Art of Strategy: Building Solidarity Across Generations! From June through September tune in for a monthly inter-generational dialogue series with movement leaders connecting our past to our present. During a time when we are under attack on multiple fronts, it is important that we act in solidarity and arm ourselves with sound political education and pragmatic strategies to advance us in the struggle for liberation!
This month’s The Art of Strategy: Building Solidarity Across Generations featuring Candie Carawan and Gloria Aneb House; supported by two young organizers and fellow musicians Jules Kessler, Co-Coordinator of The STAY Project (Stay Together Appalachian Youth) and Paul Newman, Community Organizer with SpiritHouse Inc.
During this edition we will dive into how art and culture has played a meaningful role in the movement throughout history as a medium to share our experiences, connect and reflect the struggles facing our communities, and ultimately move and motivate people to action! This double feature brings us the tales of two movement veterans and how artvisim has been interwoven into their fight for freedom from an early age on into times of today.
Candie Carawan, a cultural organizer for over 50 years, has been based for many years at the Highlander Research and Education Center in Tennessee. Originally from southern California, in the Spring of 1960 she took part in the Pomona College exchange program with Fisk University and was a participant in the Nashville Sit-In movement. On April 1 – 3 that year, she attended the first gathering of students from across the South, who were holding Sit-Ins and demonstrations in their towns, at Highlander. She met her future husband and partner there, Guy Carawan (1927-2015), and over the next 50 years they would work together as cultural organizers and educators. Their workshops, music, and documentary projects took them throughout the South, including the South Carolina Sea Islands, and the southern Appalachian mountains. Their particular interest was how cultural traditions and expression can strengthen and support movements for justice and progressive change.
Gloria Aneb House is a poet, a social justice leader, and a professor of humanities. After leaving university to teach in a freedom school in Selma, Alabama, she worked as a field secretary in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She helped draft SNCC’s statement against the Vietnam War, the first public opposition to the war to be issued by a civil rights organization. In Detroit, she co-founded the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality and the Justice for Cuba Coalition, and she participated as a teacher, administrator, and board member in the building of three African-centered schools. Nichole Christian writes: "Generations of poets, activists, and cultural scholars speak her name. They call her Mama Aneb with a booming reverence. And many trade stories, big and small, about the ways her poetry and lifetime of activism have helped shape their connection to and understanding of pivotal civil and human rights struggles.
Each month, special guest movement veterans from the National Council of Elders alongside younger generations of organizers and activists will share stories from their experiences on the frontlines. Together we will explore various periods of our movement highlighting the strategies and tools that have been used to overcome the opposition and how we can come together to WIN!