May 10, 2013 — New music will be performed tonight and tomorrow in Saranac Lake and North Elba as part of the John Brown Day events. Voices of Timbuctoo is a new work based on the Adirondack settlement of Black farmers in the mid-1800's designed to secure voting rights. Abolitionist Gerrit Smith gave away 120,000 acres of his land, beginning in 1846, hoping the Adirondack wilderness would offer refuge to black families.
Voices of Timbuctoo, is an oratorio written by western New York composer Glenn McClure. It's part of what he calls a Musical Freedom Trail. Some of his other works written to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation have been performed in Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and later this month in Rochester.
McClure says his research for the oratorio included reading through diaries, letters and documents featuring the words of Gerrit Smith, John Brown, and the individuals who worked on the land that Smith had provided. McClure told Todd Moe that these texts illustrate hope and promise. Go to full article
Modern abolitionist Ken Morris. Photo: courtesy of Frederick Douglass Family Foundation
Lake Placid, NY, Nov 29, 2012 — Frederick Douglass' great-great-great grandson will be the one of the speakers at this weekend's "Freedom Then, Freedom Now: The Long History of Emancipation" event in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. The Friday/Saturday program for students, teachers and the public celebrates the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Presented by John Brown Lives! and North Country Community College, the event will feature a film, lectures, a new portrait of abolitionist John Brown and music.
Todd Moe spoke with Ken Morris, founder and president of the Frederick Douglas Family Foundation, a service learning organization that works to create a modern abolitionist movement in schools across the country. Morris is also the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington. Go to full article