The activist anthem “We Shall Not Be Moved” expresses resolve in the face of adversity; it helps members of social movements persevere in their struggles to build a better world. The exact origins of the song are unknown, but it appears to have begun as a Protestant revival song sung by rural whites and African slaves in the southeastern United States in the early nineteenth century. The song was subsequently adopted by U.S. labor and civil rights activists, students and workers opposing the Franco dictatorship in Spain, and by Chilean supporters of that country’s socialist government in the early 1970s.
In his fascinating biography, We Shall Not Be Moved, David Spener details the history and the role the song has played in each of the movements in which it has been sung. He analyzes its dissemination, function, and meaning through a number of different sociological and anthropological lenses to explore how songs can serve as an invaluable resource to participants in movements for social change.
|Publisher:||Temple University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
David Spener is chairperson of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He is the co-author (with Moisés Chaparro and José Seves) of Canto de las estrellas: Un homenaje a Víctor Jara and author of Clandestine Crossings: Migrants and Coyotes on the Texas-Mexico Border. He is also the co-editor (with Gary Gereffi and Jennifer Bair) of Free Trade and Uneven Development: The North American Apparel Industry after NAFTA (Temple).
Table of Contents
I: HISTORY OF A SONG OF STRUGGLE
1. A Song, Socialism, and the 1973 Military Coup in Chile
2. "I Shall Not Be Moved" in the U.S. South: Blacks and Whites, Slavery and Spirituals
3. From Worship to Work: A Spiritual Is Adopted by the U.S. Labor Movement and the Left
4. From Union Song to Freedom Song: Civil Rights Activists Sing an Old Tune for a New Cause
5. From English in the U.S. South to Spanish in the U.S. Southwest: "We Shall Not Be Moved" Becomes "No nos moverán"
6. Across the Atlantic to Spain
II: MOVEMENTS AND MEANINGS
7. Social Movement: A Song's Journey across Time and Space
8. Translation and Transcendence in the Travels of a Song
Conclusion: An Internationalist Culture of the Singing Left in the Twentieth Century
Appendix: Note on Methods and Sourcesy