FROM THE WEB
Net Briefs 06-11
Buy Cable, Free Gun
Assault on Civil Liberties
SC Lets DA Off
Roots of Stonewall
Free Speech for People
Meaning of Madison
Budgets, Taxes, Classes
The Missing Story
War on the Earth
Zaps - 06/11
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Hazel Dickens, 1935-2011
Her high, lonesome sound that touched so many could only have been born from strife and fight-back. Singer/guitarist Hazel Dickens's sound was probably about as high and lonesome as one can get. The soundtrack of Harlan County USA introduced her to many outside the country home she remained a part of. Dickens didn't just sing the anthems of labor, she lived them. Her place on many a picket line, staring down gunfire and goon squads, embedded her to the cause.
She was born on June 1, 1935 in Montcalm, West Virginia, one of the small towns in Appalachian coal country. Her father was an amateur banjo player who worked as a truck driver for the mines and ran a Primitive Baptist Church each Sunday, where Hazel first began singing. The devotional songs eventually melded with the mountain tunes and ballads, creating her unique personal style. Bearing a rough, at times coarse timbre, her voice reflected the broken topography about her as well as the pains of poverty for her family of 13 living in a 3-room shack.
At age 16, Dickens moved to Baltimore where she encountered Mike Seeger and the fledgling folk scene. Seeger, working alongside his parents Charles and Ruth Crawford Seeger, began performing with the Dickens family trio, but it was Hazel Dickens's association with Seeger's wife, Alice Gerrard, that made the most impact. The duet of Hazel and Alice recorded original compositions and explored feminist archetypes in Appalachian song.
Dickens raised such issues as the need for equal pay for women workers, while fighting for these off stage. Among the titles she penned were "Working Girl Blues" and "Don't Put Her Down, You Helped Put Her There." She also composed the noted "Black Lung." Like Aunt Mollie Jackson before her, Dickens was able to capture the struggle of the moment in song and this was most evident in her on-screen performances in Matewan, Song Catcher, and Harlan County USA.
A clear heir to the Appalachian stylings of Aunt Mollie Jackson and Sarah Ogan, Dickens was a respected and featured singer at folk festivals for decades. Since the 1970s, Dickens performed with a wide array of musicians, including Emmy Lou Harris, Elvis Costello, Linda Ronstadt, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Rosanne Cash. In 2007 she was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. Dickens was active recently when she attended the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.
Dickens died of complications of pneumonia in Washington, DC on April 22. In the blackened crawlspaces of West Virginia's mines the lament was a deafening silence as the mountain peaks seemed to bow in solemn reverence.
John Pietaro is a musician, writer and labor organizer from New York City (theCulturalWorker.blogspot.com).
Z Magazine Archive
CUBAN 5 - From May 30 to June 5, supporters of the Cuban 5 will gather in Washington DC to raise awareness about the case and to demand a humanitarian solution that will allow the return of these men to their homeland.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike- A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides, music, exhibitors, and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; mailbikesnotbombs.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in NYC.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16 in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; convention @adc. org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5-day Seminar at the University of Havana, plus visits to a co-op and educational and medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljustice center.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process in the U.S.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from across the continent to learn skills and build one big union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13, the 11th Annual Peacestock will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers, and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www. peacestockvfp.org.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations, and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.