Music and Social Change

MusicandsocialchangeThrough the nearly one hundred years of its recorded history, blues musicians have been striking the chords of compassion and crying out for justice.  The history that can be traced in blues lyrics tells the story of how the common people had the soul to survive a soul-crushing system. Along with a far-seeing awareness of economic and racial injustice, many blues songs also express compassion and empathy towards the poor and oppressed, especially in times when the government had ignored and abandoned its hungry and homeless citizens.

Street Spirit has always been committed to documenting and publishing the art and culture of poor and homeless people. We’re pleased to offer this series of articles on Blues and Social Justice as part of our continuing coverage of Music and Social Change.  We’re also pleased to see that our “social justice news and homeless blues” reporting and commentary is now reaching an even broader audience via music-oriented publications featuring our articles. Street Spirit’s blues articles are now being published on two of the finest blues sites in Europe on Early Blues and the United States  on BG: Blues and Music News .

Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”