Joy as an Act of Resistance

In episode 30, we’re talking with Resistance Revival Chorus members Meah Pace and Sarah Sophie Flicker.

You’ll hear their performances of protest songs new and old, as well as their thoughts on song and sisterhood,  intersectionality, singing at the Grammy’s with Kesha for #TimesUp & the #MeToo movement, parenthood, and self care.


Download the corresponding practice (30 Practice: Sing for Freedom) to join Resistance Revival Chorus Musical Director Abena Koomson Davis in a meditative singing and listening practice you can do alone or in a group. Get ready to hear her beautiful voice and join in!

Practice episodes always publish on Thursdays.

Resistance Revival Chorus is a collective of more than 60 self-identified women who come together to sing protest songs in the spirit of collective joy & resistance. They honor the long tradition of music and protest songs in civil rights movements by uplifting historical songs as well as creating new ones for our current moment. They are calling for a resistance revival of our spirits, of our commitment to the movement, of our joy and of our power.

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This is the fourth episode we have created about music as collective healing on Healing Justice Podcast - for more inspiration, music, and activities you can use to empower activism in your group through singing, check out our conversations with IfNotNow in practice 16, Flobots in episode 19, and Peace Poets in episode 23.


About Our Guests

Sarah Sophie Flicker is an activist, producer, writer, filmmaker, cultural organizer, creative director, aerialist, and Creative Director of political cabaret group The Citizens Band. She's a co-author of the NY Times bestseller Women's March official book, "Together We Rise.” She is the creative director of Firebrand with Paola Mendoza. Sarah Sophie was a national organizer at the Women's March and has worked with many organizations on critical issue campaigns. She's a founder & member of The Resistance Revival Chorus.

Meah Pace is the renowned songstress you may know from NYC's soul scene as well as dance/punk band "!!!" (Chk Chk Chk), The Resistance Revival Chorus, Binky Griptite's "The Mellomatics", Rev. Vince Anderson's "Love Choir" and her own band "The MAP Legends" who backed her up on her E.P. entitled "11:03".  She’s had performances with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, The Roots, Deborah Cox, The All-American Rejects and Wild Belle. Meah is also a former captain of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders.


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Practice: "Sing for Freedom"

Sing along with Resistance Revival Chorus Musical Director Abena Koomson Davis for a meditative, joyful exercise in song and action. This is an exercise you can use in your group or participate along with on your own. Abena is a performer, educator and wordsmith; lead vocalist for Van Davis funk rock band and original cast member of the hit Broadway musical FELA! which earned 3 TONY awards. Abena serves as Ethics Chair of the middle school division at Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York City.


Rich Man’s House
Words & music by the Kensington Women's Rights Union & Anne Feeney. From her "Have You Been to Jail for Justice?" CD On page 228 in the Rich & Poor chapter of the songbook Rise Again: A Group Singing Songbook (ed. by Peter Blood & Annie Patterson). Other sources credit it to the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign. This version was performed in Times Square by Resistance Revival Chorus in 2017

You Don't Own Me
John Madara and David White; recorded by Lesley Gore in 1963. This version was recorded by Resistance Revival Chorus in 2018.

When There is Light in the Soul
This song is a Chinese Proverb, set to music by Sharon Durant. The basic arrangement was learned from and inspired by Dr. Ysaye Maria Barnwell in a singing retreat entitled "Building a Vocal Community." This version performed by Resistance Revival Chorus on 3/5/2018 at Joe’s Pub in NYC.

Written by Kesha along with Andrew Joslyn, Ben Abraham, and Ryan Lewis. This version performed by Resistance Revival Chorus on 3/5/2018 at Joe’s Pub in NYC.

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round
This old spiritual was first introduced in Albany (Georgia) by Reverend Ralph Abernathy during the summer of 1962 when mass arrests and demonstrations erupted for the second time. He taught it one night to a mass meeting of the Negro community at Mount Zion Baptist Church. It immediately caught on and became widely used in the demonstrations. (Sing for Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement through its songs, edited and compiled by Guy and Candie Carawan). Before the song was used in the Civil Rights conflict, it was a spiritual called Don’t You Let Nobody Turn You Around and printed with music in Clarence Cameron White’s 1927, Forty Negro Spirituals, Theodore Presser Co. Philadelphia. This version is performed by Resistance Revival Chorus.

Ella's Song
Written by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon and performed by Sweet Honey in the Rock. This version performed by Resistance Revival Chorus.

Let the River Run
By Carly Simon. This version performed by Resistance Revival Chorus with Carly Simon on 3/5/2018 at Joe’s Pub in NYC.

Woke Up This Morning
Reverend Osby of Aurora, Illinois is credited with this song as an adaptation from a gospel song he wrote when spending time in Hinds County jail during the freedom rides.

THANK YOU to our production volunteers:

Direction & overall production by Kate Werning
Content editing by Parke Ballantine & Myra al-Rahim
Mixing, editing, and final production by Zach Meyer at the COALROOM
Intro and Closing music gifted by Danny O’Brien
All visuals contributed by Josiah Werning

Kate Werning