Welcome by Chair of Journey to Justice, Mark Hutchinson
“Ben, make sure you play ‘Precious Lord, Take My Hand’ in the meeting tonight, play it real pretty.”
These were the last words uttered by Martin Luther King on 4th April 1968 to the musician Ben Branch. Today, Journey to Justice launches its first project examining the creativity of and links between the American civil rights movement and social protest in Britain. King’s words hint at the inextricable link between struggle and song. Many have been inspired by the principles and passion that were invoked and the manner and methods used in the struggle for human dignity and justice. And for some, all of this was captured in the clarion call of one man, Martin Luther King. But the civil rights movement was about more than one person. Why did so many get involved? How and why did individuals come together and persist in the face of inhumane treatment, hostility and sometimes just plain indifference. Was it courage? conviction? personal circumstance?
Journey to Justice would like to thank everyone who helped make this evening possible: performers, our compere, those who ran the publicity, organisation, made food, gave the drinks, managed the sound, the tickets, filming and photography, designed programmes or prepared the venue. And of course we thank you, our audience. Thanks to everyone who has given either financially or by offering special rewards for our crowdfunding campaign. Your support means everything. It’s not too late to make a donation if you so wish. The campaign ends on July 30th. Please visit www.buzzbnk.org/journeytojustice if you haven’t yet. We need your help to take us to the next phase of our work – the establishment of a travelling exhibition. For now though, sit back, relax and enjoy some sweet soulful performances…
Mark Hutchinson, Chair, Journey to Justice