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02/15/2010 - By Mike Leonard - Commentary - There was a point before the musical program at the White House last week when John Mellencamp looked around the room and wondered, “What am I doing here?”

The singers and performers assembled were mostly African-American and rightly so. The program was put together in recognition of Black History Month and titled, “In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement.”

Morgan Freeman, Smokey Robinson, Natalie Cole, Yolanda Adams, the Five Blind Boys from Alabama. That all made sense. All had either lived through the civil rights era of the late 1950s and ‘60s or lived it vicariously through family members and mentors.

Of the three white entertainers there, Bob Dylan clearly belonged. When he wrote “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” the civil rights movement was very much on his mind.

Joan Baez helped galvanize the aspirations of blacks and whites with her ethereal version of the spir Read More
 
   

 

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