He died so his brothers could be free

chaney-and-goodmanThis is just a brief “Hymns of Social Justice” post.  You would have to have not been on the internets at all the last week or so to have not been reminded that June 21st was the 48th anniversary of the murders in Mississippi of civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, James Chaney,and Andrew Goodman. Much as has been said about them that is far more eloquent then anything that I could come up with.  I particularly enjoyed this post on Tim Hayes blog “Tales from Post Racial America” entitled “Remembering the Murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner“.

My small contribution to remembering these heroes will be to provide a link to a tribute by Simon and Garfunkel.  Paul Simon wrote “He died so his brothers could be free” under the pen name Paul Kane.  Simon wrote the original lyrics before the murders of Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman but after their murders tweaked the lyrics and sang it in their honor. The live recording that I share here is from 1966.  Hopefully the raw emotions in the song are still with us.  The civil rights struggle carries on.  If we want all to have and keep the rights that Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman, Medger Evers, Martin Luther King, and so many others died for we have to remember that people DID die so we could be free.  NOT just on distant battlefields in wars against other nations, but HERE, in our own country, at the hands of racists and oppressors who felt that their rights, comforts, leisure’s, pleasures, or what ever superseded the rights of those whom they saw as inferior.  If we do not remember that, and then do something with the feelings caused by those memories, then their deaths will have been in vain.

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