We Who Believe In Freedom

Sweet Honey In The RockSweet Honey In The Rock (see my earlier post) do an incredibly powerful performance of this amazing piece, Ella’s Song, and I’ve included the video and lyrics for us here. I first fell in love with this song over twenty years ago when I heard it covered by songwriter-singer and activist Holly Near and I adore this original version too. I’ve also included some information about the memorable activist who inspired it: Ella Baker.

Let us be inspired to raise our voices and sing along! Let us rise up and take action for peace and freedom for all the world’s people, for every mother’s child. Let our love light the way. ~Namaste.

Ella’s Song

ella bakerElla Josephine Baker (December 13, 1903 – December 13, 1986) was an African-American civil rights and human rights activist beginning in the 1930s. She was a behind-the-scenes activist, whose career spanned over five decades. She worked alongside some of the most famous civil rights leaders of the 20th century, including W.E.B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, A. Philip Randolph, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  She also mentored then-young civil rights stalwarts Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael, Rosa Parks and Bob Moses. In 1972 she traveled the country in support of the “Free Angela” campaign demanding the release of Angela Davis [John Lennon & Yoko Ono wrote a song in support of Angela Davis called ‘Angela’ on their 1972 album “Some Time in New York City”].  Ella Baker also lent her voice to the Puerto Rican independence movement, spoke out against apartheid in South Africa and allied herself with a number of women’s groups, including the Third World Women’s Alliance and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She remained an activist until her death in 1986 at 83 years of age.

Ella Baker quotations:
“Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s son… we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.”
“Remember, we are not fighting for the freedom of the Negro alone but for the freedom of the human spirit, a larger freedom that encompasses all mankind.”
“The development of the individual to his highest potential is for the benefit of the group.”

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18 thoughts on “We Who Believe In Freedom

  1. Thanks for sharing the video and bit of history. I was fortunate, in my twenties, to meet Sweet Honey and the Rock and perform as part of a special workshop they offered in D.C.Fond memoreis.

  2. Gina,
    This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I have been a bit weary lately, but now I know I cannot rest. Others have worked much harder and longer than I for freedom and peace. I love this song, inspiration, and arrangement. Thank you for breathing spirit into me. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

    • Kozo my friend, I am delighted to have brought this piece of special music and touching lyrics to help breathe inspiration into you. This piece does the same for me. It energizes me, and gets me charged up – knowing that there IS work to do, and we cannot rest or cease from our passion and resolve for peace on earth. Go Kozo Go! Go Gina Go! Warriors for Peace!!
      Love and {Hugs} Gina

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  6. Times are changing or is that the words of a song?
    We now have an Uncle Sambo, can he fix the mess left by George Bush or is he going to be the fall guy?
    ‘Imagine’ is my favoured song because man does need to change.

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