America, America… a nation of great contradiction: slavery & freedom…black & white…rich & poor…joy & pain. Among these, there is none more apparent and at the same time more elusive than that of race.
“A Change Is Gonna Come: Musical Journey Through American Race Relations” is live music and lecture performed by cultural activist and musician Eric Dozier, a native of Blakewell, TN.
This free event will be at Alcoa Service Center, 725 Universal Street, in Alcoa, TN, from 4 to 6 p.m., Saturday, November 9.
In his unique way, Dozier shares his view of the impact that music has on American culture, identity and social progress.
Dozier combines his wealth of experience working with groups of all ages and his unique blend of Down and Dirty Blues, Socially Conscious Soul, and Spirit Fueled Gospel Music takes you on a journey as he shines a light at the crossroads of music and American race relations.
The presentation is a performance of songs and discussion of key musical figures and themes from the Abolitionists, Civil Rights, labor & anti-war movements, as well as other contemporary voices of change both within the United States and internationally.
Dozier’s perspective of our songs, and the stories that surround them offers insight into the mood of the times and represent a crucial ingredient in movements uniting people in their struggle for progress, unity, and betterment. They also highlight our gradual and sometimes spectacular triumphs over racism and class discrimination.
By the end, participants will better understand what it means to be an active and creative advocate of diversity and equity imbued with a renewed sense of mission and commitment to being the change they wish to see.
The goal of the performance is to leave participants with:
- GAIN a greater understanding of why race issues are as they are.
- INCREASE knowledge of the impact of race on their personal and work relationships.
- EXPLORE personal insights on how popular culture influences self-concept.
- EXAMINE the often-overlooked “Other Tradition” of multiracial cooperation and draw inspiration from this dynamic model of social progress.
- LEARN to appreciate the role music has played in shaping past and present society by examining the personal and cultural forces that have inspired various artists and their songs.
- EXPERIENCE viscerally the unifying force of group songs, not just by hearing them, but by SINGING them together!
Eric Dozier is a music educator, cultural activist, and recording artist who uses music to engage communities in dialogue about racism. He is committed to “Uniting The World One Song At A Time, ” by encouraging people to find and lend their voices to the ever-emerging story of humanity is within the heart of his work.
He is a graduate of Duke University and Duke Divinity School and is currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of Tasmania researching the effects of Black Gospel Music on communities outside of the Black Church.
He has served as the musical director for the World Famous Harlem Gospel Choir, the award-winning Children’s Theatre Company of NYC, and has been a featured artist at the United Nations. Through these collaborations, he has been honored to share the stage with the likes of Harry Belafonte, Angelique Kidjo, Raffi, and even Nelson Mandela.
He currently serves on the Education Curriculum Development Committee for the forthcoming National Museum of African American Music to be built in Nashville, TN and has recently launched the Young People’s Freedom Song Initiative, a community-supported grassroots music education movement. The Initiative is an interactive exploration of the Freedom Song tradition born during the time of the American Civil Rights Movement, designed to engage young people in revolutionary music-making.