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 .

A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.