Stand Up and Sing!

Stand Up and Sing!: Pete Seeger, Folk Music, and the Path to Justice
by Susanna Reich (Author) and Adam Gustavson (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Pete Seeger was born with music in his bones. Coming of age during the Great Depression, Pete saw poverty and adversity that would forever shape his worldview, but it wasn’t until he received his first banjo that he found his way to change the world. It was plucking banjo strings and singing folk songs that showed Pete how music had the incredible power to bring people together.

Using this gift throughout his life, Pete encouraged others to rally behind causes that mattered–fighting for Civil Rights, ending the Vietnam War, or cleaning up the Hudson River. For Pete, no challenge was too great, and what started out as a love for music turned into a lifetime of activism and change. His greatest talent–and greatest passion–would become an unforgettable part of American history.

Snippet: On a trip to Tennessee in 1957, Pete introduced Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the song “We Shall Overcome.”

“That song really sticks with you, doesn’t it?” Dr. King said.

“We Shall Overcome” spread throughout the country. In churches and community halls, at civil rights gatherings and protest marches, people stood arm in arm, their voices forming a bond of hope and determination.

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