Bernice Johnson Reagon Quotes


23 Bernice Johnson Reagon quotes:



"As the years of work passed at the Smithsonian as a scholar, I realized that Howard had trained me well for the work I wanted to do."
"At the same time all this was happening, there was a folk song revival movement goingon, so the commercial music industry was actually changed by the Civil Rights Movement."
"But I'm a historian. I wasn't interested in just being a producer, I was interested in doing research and presenting that research to a general public."
"I came out of the Civil Rights Movement, and I had a different kind of focus than most people who have just the academic background as their primary training experience."
"I just don't think one person has that much to contribute to any subject."
"I organized Sweet Honey In The Rock in 1973. The music was sanity and balance."
"I started graduate school in 1971, I started working at the Smithsonian in the festival in 1972. I went full-time at the Smithsonian in 1974. And I got my doctorate in 1975."
"I think the Civil Rights Movement changed that trajectory for me. The first thing I did was leave school. I was suspended for my participation in Movement demonstrations in my hometown, December, 1961."
"I was at the Smithsonian for twenty years, and I'm still at the Smithsonian as a curator emeritus, and I still plan to figure out what that means for me at this point in my life."
"I went to a church where you could not sing out loud in the service until you had been saved."
"If I had been at a University I don't think I would have been able to have the experience I had in my Smithsonian work. I don't think I have been as successful."
"In fact when Sweet Honey was ten years old it was too big for me to run, and I knew it, but I ran it for another thirteen years because I couldn't convince other people to really do it. And this year, I'm not running it."
"It makes sense that whatever the topic is, it's more compelling if you can provide the audience with a range of perspectives, and you can cross disciplines. And you don't have to control what people take out of it."
"Most people come out of their Ph.D. experience trying to prove themselves, trying to get ahead, trying to get published. You're scared everybody else is going to do your research and get your topic."
"One of the biggest things I understood in a program like that was that it allowed more young African American scholars to do field research in the Caribbean and in Africa than had ever happened before in the history of the country and since."
"Personally I discovered that you could go through the academy as a young scholar, come out, and almost immediately have an impact on the academic environment."
"So one of the things that happened with integration in the South is they found that the black teachers were much more educated than the white teachers."
"The Civil Rights Movement also reaffirmed me as a singer. It taught me that singing was not entertainment, it was something else."
"The first job I had with the Smithsonian was as a field researcher among African American communities in Southwest Louisiana and Arkansas for the festival."
"The voice I have now, I got the first time I sang in a movement meeting, after I got out of jail... and I'd never heard it before in my life."



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