Part I of Democracy Now! s Special: Legendary Civil Rights Singers, Sweet Honey in the Rock. In the civil rights movement, in jails, in rallies, the sound was a way of announcing a community and anybody who walked toward you, including the police, would be walking into your sound, and they would get to you long before they would get to your body; Amnesty International Condemns U.S. Policies Pursued in Response to September 11th. According to Amnesty International's annual report, Washington's "war on terror" has undermined human rights, weakened international law and shielded governments from scrutiny.
9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:10 Headlines Amnesty International Condemns U.S. Policies Pursued in Response to September 11th. According to an Amnesty International report, Washington's "war on terror" has undermined human rights, weakened international law and shielded governments from scrutiny. The London based watchdog group released its annual report on global human rights abuses in 2002. It condemns policies pursued by the United States and Britain in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. It said the war on terror that was supposed to make the world safer has failed and has given governments an excuse to abuse human rights in the name of state security. "The Bush Administration's war in Iraq has contributed to diminishing human rights for millions of others worldwide," said Amnesty International USA s Executive Director Dr. William F. Schulz, "While billions were spent to dethrone Saddam Hussein, dictators and rebels elsewhere wreaked havoc on millions of people across the globe with little attention and even less condemnation from the US government or the international community. Guest: Josh Rubenstein, Northeastern regional director of Amnesty Int. Link: http://www.amnestyusa.org/9:10-9:58: In March of this year, we were joined in our studios by the legendary musical act and Grammy Award winning Sweet Honey in the Rock. This year they are celebrating their 30th year together. It was 1973 when Bernice Johnson Reagon brought together a group of female singers to form an a cappella group. At the time Reagon was the music director of the old D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company. The first song they practiced was called Sweet Honey in the Rock. The tune referenced religious parable that spoke of a land so rich that when rocks were cracked open, honey flowed from them. They decided to take that name as their own. Reagon had come with a deep musical past. She was an original member of the SNCC Freedom Singers and also organized the Atlanta-based Harambee Singers, an ensemble of female vocalists who performed as part of the civil rights struggles of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Since 1973 Sweet Honey in the Rock has reinvented a cappella music and introduced a generation to the roots of African-American music: gospel, spirituals and hymns as well as the blues and jazz. The group has released 18 albums and has toured the world. They won a Grammy Award in 1989 for work on the recording, Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. They have even published a book examining a history of the group and the times. Alice Walker wrote the introduction. Over the years the group s membership has included 22 women. The current ensemble includes Bernice Johnson Reagon, Ysaye Maria Barnwell, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, Carol Maillard and sign language interpretator Shirley Childress Saxton. * Sweet Honey in the Rock Special Part I 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdul Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Emily Kunstler, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Fatima Mojadiddy, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo.