In light of our Herstory project in class, consider the song "I'm Gonna to be an Engineer," sung by Pete Seeger, one of my personal heroes. The song appears in the "virtual i-pod" on the bottom right of the homepage or below on a groovy you tube clip from the 1970's. Listen carefully to the lyrics and see if you can relate them to any of the presentations you've heard in class.
I first heard this song when my wife -- then my college girlfriend -- and I went on our first date to a Pete Seeger concert. But Pete's not just a folk music hero to me; he's also a man of tremendous principle. Like Howard Zinn, he has lived his convictions. He married a Japanese woman in the 1940's when our country was throwing thousands of Japanese-Americans in prison camps. He fought for civil rights, singing with the great African-American baritone, Paul Robeson, when it nearly cost him his life. He inspired many famous civil rights leaders, including Julian Bond, who credits Seeger for opposing Jim Crow laws before the Movement really got underway. Pete even wrote some of the lyrics to "We Shall Overcome." He fought for unions and common working men (and women since he also advocated equality among the sexes). He traveled the world and recording world music like no one had ever done before.
For all this he was branded a Communist and banned from appearing on TV for 17 years just when he had reached the height of his popularity. When the ban was finally lifted he shocked everyone by singing an anti-Vietnam War song called "The Big Muddy." Since then he has sung to end apartheid in South Africa and almost single-handedly galvanized efforts to clean-up the Hudson River. He's 90 now and just last year was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of folk music.