This summer, Harmony Project brings the music of 1968 to the stage. Why 1968?
Fifty years ago, the Women’s Liberation movement took to the streets. There was a Black Power symbolic protest at the Summer Olympics. There was a war between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Political protests in the streets. Headlines about gun violence. The Gay Rights movement was beginning to coalesce. The gap between those with resources and those without resources widened and was exposed as an ulcer inside the soul of America. It was the first American revolution that was televised: color images of bloodied students at political rallies on campuses; black Americans being beaten with nightsticks at peaceful protests; white nationalists marching with the Confederate flag; political discourse that lowered the bar for the nation’s future; and of course, the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.
Fifty years later, The Women’s March, #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are empowering the voices of women as they continue to fight for equality. Athletes kneel as a demonstration of free speech. Political protests continue to spill into the streets. Headlines are filled with stories of gun violence. LGBTQ communities continue to push for full equality. The socioeconomic gap between us has only increased, and the ulcer of division is burning us from within. The troubles of the world are being broadcast on social media and 24-hour news networks. Political discourse has further lowered the bar. White nationalists march openly once again.
It is said that history repeats itself. MLK and RFK were two Americans from two different experiences of what it means to be an American. Yet they fought for the same ideals. Perhaps Dr. King’s greatest gift was his final speech when he poetically and prophetically talked about the vision that he would not be among us much longer. He said that the focus should not be on him. The focus should be on us, and what we the people would do to carry on his vision for equality, freedom, and justice for all.
Harmony Project will call the Columbus community to look back with reflection and look forward with action. With concerts, service initiatives, a film series, and free-to-the-public community events, Harmony will unite people across social and cultural divides through the music of the generation that changed America, the speeches of Kennedy and King, and the films and iconic images that captured who we were 50 years ago. By looking back, Harmony Project will help us look forward together, because only together will we live out Bobby’s vision and become Martin’s dream.
Harmony Project Presents: 1968
Thursday, June 7, 2018, 7:30pm