I began singing as a solo unaccompanied singer in 1962. It was a great time for folk music of all kinds: traditional music of all kinds form many cultures, new topical songs, freedom songs. And so many places to sing, my first job was as an unaccompanied folk singer at Café Lena Folk Club in Saratoga Springs, New York.
In 1966, I joined Anne Romaine in organizing the Southern Folk Festival, the first traveling interracial festival organized in the South. We were booked by White and Black southern organizations, schools who wanted to bring to their members and students this concert evening of musicians, singing songs from Black and White southern traditions that pointed to shared respect and a different future.
1968—When Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr was killed in Memphis, I was performing at a Paul Robeson Tribute Festival and Exhibition in what was then East Germany. Because I was an activist, suddenly I was the person in the country that was interviewed about not only the assassination of Dr King, but also the urban rebellions that followed.