Civil Rights Movement

Songs of Freedom

She was born in Selma, Alabama. As a child Bettie Mae Fikes traveled the country with her mother, a gospel singer. While she was in high school in the early 1960s, Fikes became involved with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Selma, emerging as a music leader. She was jailed for several weeks in 1963 for participating in a protest for voting rights. Fikes later became a professional blues singer. Her album How Blue Can You Get? Live at Ancient Lake Gardens (Earthen Vessel Productions) was released earlier this year. Sojourners assistant editor Jeannie Choi spoke with Fikes in March during a congressional civil rights pilgrimage in Alabama with The Faith and Politics Institute.

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Sojourners Magazine August 2010
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In Honor of Civil Rights Leaders Benjamin Hooks and Dorothy Height

The world is stubborn. It changes its thinking at a glacial pace. People fear change, and they come to hate what they fear. Powerful interests do not want to lose or to share power. The work of social justice, of affecting positive change requires persistent commitment and radical love that gives one the energy to continue the work across decades.