SNCC and the Black Arts Movement

“We Had to Change the Conversation”

SNCC 50th Anniversary Conference

A.B. Spellman (Poet, Author)
Amiri Baraka (Poet, Playwright)
Haki Madhubuti (Poet, Founder, Third World Press)
Jamila Jones (Harambee Singers)
John O’Neal (Free Southern Theater)

Focusing on artistic endeavor, Moderator A.B. Spellman describes this session’s theme as “Where we came from, where we went, where we are and where we might go.” John O’Neal, one of the founders of the Free Southern Theater, and Jamila Jones, a founder of the Harambee Singers, were directly involved with the Southern Movement and describe where artistic effort fit into that political struggle. Northern poets Amiri Baraka and Haki Madhubuti, describe the intersection and interaction between the southern struggle, its activists, and the nationwide Black arts movement in which they were key actors. The session examines the continuing engagement with the power of word and song.