As in most social movements, music played a powerful role during the Civil Rights era. “We Shall Overcome” became an anthem for freedom that stirred people to action. In 1962, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., reflected on the importance music to the movement, noting that “the songs are playing a strong and vital role in our struggle. They give the people new courage and a sense of unity.”
On Sunday, April 23, 2023, 3 p.m., Rowan University’s Dr. Lourin Plant will explore the impact of these songs in history at the Harrison Township Historical Society’s Richwood Academy Cultural Center.
Plant is Assistant Professor of Vocal and Choral Music at Rowan, teaching studio voice and directing the University’s early music ensemble, as well as music of African Americans. An accomplished performer himself, he has appeared with the New York City Opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia and in touring ensembles of Michael Crawford, Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman and Barbara Streisand.
This year, the Society is focusing on mid-20th century history and the Old Town Hall Museum in Mullica Hill is now featuring a new exhibition on that period entitled “Back to the Fifties.” Plant’s presentation will take an in-depth and engaging look at the most significant social movement of that era.
Richwood Academy Cultural Center is located at 836 Lambs Rd., Richwood, NJ. There is no admission fee; free tickets are available online at the Harrison Township Historical Society’s public Facebook page. The program will also be livestreamed and archived at Facebook for future viewing. Facebook membership is not required to access the program. Information can be found at Facebook and at Old Town Hall Museum 856-478-4949.
The Harrison Township Historical Society’s arts and history programs are made possible in part by funding from the Gloucester County Cultural and Heritage Commission at Rowan College of South Jersey, in partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey Historical Commission/Department of State.