The 2010 White House Music Series begins on Wednesday, February 10th, when the President and First Lady will host In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement – a concert celebrating Black History month. Participants include Bob Dylan, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Smokey Robinson, Seal, the Blind Boys of Alabama and The Freedom Singers, featuring Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Rutha Harris, Charles Neblett and Toshi Reagon. Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Queen Latifah and Joanne Woodward will be guest speakers for this concert which will feature songs from the Civil Rights Movement as well as readings from famous Civil Rights speeches and writings.
As part of this special event, Mrs. Obama will host “Music that Inspired the Movement,” a workshop that several of the event’s performers will lead for 120 high school students from across the country on Wednesday, February 10th from 2 to 3 p.m. (time has been updated because of weather conditions). The students will come to learn about the continuing relevance of music from the Civil Rights Movement to today’s generation and its original impact in the 1960s. Robert Santelli, the executive director of The GRAMMY Museum, and Smokey Robinson, the legendary Motown singer, will facilitate the workshop. John Legend, John Mellencamp, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon will perform. Dr. Reagon was one of the original Freedom Singers in the 1960s, who traveled around the country carrying stories in song of local Civil Rights Movement campaigns to national audiences.
Students all over the country are invited to watch the workshop live and submit questions for the performers and facilitators leading up to the event. Several questions received through the online form will be answered at the workshop and following the event. Questions may be submitted prior to the workshop at www.whitehouse.gov/civil-rights-music