Bernice Johnson Reagon

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Bernice Johnson Reagon


Bernice Johnson Reagon is a musician and activist.

Helsinki Communist youth festival

Bobbie Rabinowitz was at the 1962 Soviet front World Federation of Democratic Youth Festival in Helsinki, Finland.

The Festival committee organized a fundraiser at the Village Gate. The program included Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Judy Collins, Odetta and Bob Dylan, "all before they were nationally known, and all singing to support the Festival! We raised enough funds to send a cultural contingent on scholarship. Over 400 youth from all over the US attended the Helsinki Festival." They are lurking everywhere still! I can think of "some now prominent folks who were on that Festival contingent, including NAACP chair Julian Bond and Bernice Reagon, who founded Sweet Honey in the Rock. It is part of history that there was an attempt to have a "counter" US delegation at Helsinki, whose role was to disrupt. This delegation, composed mainly of Yale students,was funded by the CIA. Which goes to show you that "dirty tricks" were alive and well in 1962."[1]

Hard Times Conference

In 1976 Bernice Reagon, singer attended the Weather Underground and Prairie Fire Organizing Committee organized Hard Times Conference Jan 30 - Feb 1 at the University of Chicago.[2]

Institute for Policy Studies

In 1993 Johnson-Reagon was listed as a among "former Visiting Fellows and Visiting Scholars and current TransNational Institute Fellows" on the Institute for Policy Studies 30th Anniversary brochure.

Sweet Honey in the Rock

Sweet Honey in the Rock was founded in 1973 by Bernice Johnson Reagon, a former Institute for Policy Studies staff member, the a cappella ensemble of African-American women presents a rich diversity of music, from blues to hip hop to traditional gospel. A 2008 Grammy Award nominee for their album Experience . . . 101, Sweet Honey in the Rock has long raised their voices in hope, love, justice, peace, and resistance.[3]

SNCC re-union

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee held its 50th anniversary conference at Shaw University here, April 15-18, 2010.

At its founding here on April 17, 1960, the now-legendary civil rights organization adopted its first formal program. Life long Communist Party USA activist Debbie Bell was a founding member, serving alongside Julian Bond, Harry Belafonte, John Lewis (now a member of Congress from Georgia), Freedom Singer and Sweet Honey in the Rock founder Bernice Johnson Reagon, the Revs. David Forbes and James Lawson, Joyce Ladner and Dick Gregory.

All these founders spoke at the anniversary event. There were speeches too by Attorney General Eric Holder and actor Danny Glover.[4]

Glover and Holder were too young to be part of SNCC, but both emphasized that they would not be where they are today without SNCC and its heroic struggle for African American liberation.

References