Named for an essay by Dr. Martin Luther King, the World House Choir made its debut performance in 2013 at Antioch College's Coretta Scott King Center.
WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota spoke with Dr. Cathy Roma, director of the World House Choir, before a rehearsal for their 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King Day performance at the Coretta Scott King Center. Roma shared her thoughts on why singing together as a community can affect change, and the choir shared some selections from its upcoming performance.
Participants in We Have a Dream recording at the WYSO studios
I was only 2 years old in August of 1963, when those 250 thousand people converged on Washington. They traveled by car and train and chartered bus. Some just walked or hitchhiked. They came from all over the country.
Early in the day, at the Washington Monument, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez lead the crowds in singing "We Shall Overcome," and they proceeded to march peacefully to the foot of the Lincoln Memorial for more music and speeches. Mahalia Jackson sang, as she often did at Dr. King's request, and then Dr. King came to the podium.
As celebrations continue in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., family members of the civil rights activist say this is year is particularly significant. Dr. Alveda King is Reverend King's niece, and the founder Of King for Life. She told WYSO that this month is the 150th anniversary of the emancipation of slaves and August is the 50th anniversary of her uncle's famous "I have a dream" speech, but she says there's more work to do.
In 1965 Dr, Martin Luther King gave the commencement speech at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Ten year-old Jalyn Jones Roe was there and that day changed her life. Roe's story will be heard as WYSO public radio presents Dr. King's address, in its entirety.
Roe lives in Yellow Springs today, and works with "The Springfield Community Empowerment Program," a faith based organization that works with at-risk youth and the disadvantaged in Springfield. Her work today, she believes, comes from the community values of diversity and inclusion that she learned in Yellow Springs