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May 15, 2022
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Century Memorial Chapel

Naper Settlement, IL 60540
Free with ticket
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History Speaks - Oh Freedom! Songs of the Civil Rights Movement

Sunday, May 15, 2022

In a show created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement, award-winning folksinger Chris Vallillo performs pivotal songs from the music that inspired and sustained this landmark movement intermixed with first-hand accounts of the historic struggle.

Naper Settlement will host an Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau presentation entitled Oh Freedom! Songs of the Civil Rights Movement by Chris Vallillo. The Civil Rights Movement has been described as one of the greatest singing movements that this country has experienced. From “We Shall Overcome” to “This Little Light of Mine”, music played a vital role in that historic struggle both as an inspirational rallying point and as a way to spread the message of equality and justice. From the Freedom Riders, to the jails of Montgomery Alabama, and Parchment Prison, all the way to Washington DC, both old and new songs of the era spoke of the yearning for equal rights, the struggle and the determination to win freedom. They engaged and energized the movement and became the backbone of the nonviolent civil disobedience movement led by Dr. King and others. Music was a huge part of the process both locally and nationally. In a show created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement, award-winning folksinger Chris Vallillo performs pivotal songs from the music that inspired and sustained this landmark movement. Intermixed with the music, Vallillo presents first-hand accounts of the historic struggle and discusses the impact of music on our nation's most important social cause.

Learn more about the presenter: Chris Vallillo is a singer/songwriter and folklorist with a natural affinity for American roots music.  A master of bottleneck slide guitar, he weaves original, contemporary, and traditional songs and narratives into a compelling and entertaining portrait of the history and lifestyle of the Midwest.  His 2016 project, Oh Freedom! Songs of the Civil Rights Movement was released on Martin Luther King Day and charted at # 6 of the National Folk charts. His one-man show Abraham Lincoln in Song, received the endorsement of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and the CD of reached #10 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Album Chart.

This event is being produced by Naper Settlement in partnership with Illinois Humanities. The Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau invites Illinois authors, artists, and educators to share their expertise and enthusiasm with people throughout the state, enabling local nonprofit organizations to present free-admission cultural programs of high quality to their communities for a modest fee.

Illinois Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA)], as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by speakers, program participants, or audiences do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH, Illinois Humanities, IACA, our partnering organizations, or our funders.

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