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Jameson Moore
Jameson Moore

Freedom Ride (Terrys Freedom Club Instrumental)

The students kept their spirits up in jail by singing freedom songs. Out of frustration, Connor drove them back up to the Tennessee line and dropped them off, saying, "I just couldn't stand their singing."[26] They immediately returned to Birmingham.

Freedom Ride (Terrys Freedom Club Instrumental)

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This established a pattern followed by subsequent Freedom Rides, most of which traveled to Jackson, where the Riders were arrested and jailed. Their strategy became one of trying to fill the jails. Once the Jackson and Hinds County jails were filled to overflowing, the state transferred the Freedom Riders to the infamous Mississippi State Penitentiary (known as Parchman Farm). Abusive treatment there included placement of Riders in the Maximum Security Unit (Death Row), issuance of only underwear, no exercise, and no mail privileges. When the Freedom Riders refused to stop singing freedom songs, prison officials took away their mattresses, sheets, and toothbrushes. More Freedom Riders arrived from across the country, and at one time, more than 300 were held in Parchman Farm.[37]

The Freedom Riders helped inspire participation in subsequent civil rights campaigns, including voter registration throughout the South, freedom schools, and the Black Power movement. At the time, most black Southerners had been unable to register to vote, due to state constitutions, laws and practices that had effectively disfranchised them since the turn of the 20th century. For instance, white administrators supervised reading comprehension and literacy tests that highly educated black people could not pass.

Records do exist detailing the colonial laws that white enslavers and politicians enacted to control enslaved people. The first set of these laws, the North Carolina Slave Code of 1715, required enslaved people to carry a ticket from their enslaver whenever they left the plantation. The ticket stated where they were traveling and the reason for their travel. The 1715 code also prevented enslaved people from gathering in groups for any reason, including religious worship, and required white people to help capture escaped freedom-seeking enslaved people.

A second set of even stricter laws was put into place in 1741. These laws prevented enslaved people from raising their own livestock and from carrying guns without their enslaver's permission, even for hunting. The law also limited manumission, or freeing of enslaved people. It stated that an enslaver could only free an enslaved person for "meritorious services," and even then the decision had to be approved by the county court. Perhaps the most serious of all the laws was regarding "runaway slaves," or escaped freedom-seeking enslaved people. It stated that if freedom-seeking enslaved people refused to surrender immediately, they could be killed and there would be no legal consequences.

Queen Bey might not have rebirthed 90s club music with her rapturous new album Renaissance, but she has given it her royal warrant. Renaissance seizes that era's spirit of the dancefloor as an empowering "safe space" for all clubbers, and LGBTQ communities in particular. It uses multi-stranded elements: hi-NRG disco, hip hop, and especially house music, with lead single Break My Soul nodding to US artist Robin S's 1993 smash hit Show Me Love (StoneBridge mix). It should also elevate the legacy of the original vocalists who were instrumental in shaping this classic dance sound, yet whose contributions have been repeatedly undersung. House is a feeling (as the 90s mantra goes), and these predominantly black female talents super-charged this electronic music with every vital emotion. It's high time they were paid proper dues.

Another vocal heroine who has remained devoted to house music (both as a singer-songwriter and a DJ) is the redoubtable Ultra Naté, who is preparing to release her latest album, Ultra. "This genre has always given me a vibrant palette to work with," she explains. "I've had freedom to work with all the colours and ideas." Her work channels an exhilarating energy, which is rooted in her own formative clubbing experiences as a Baltimore teen. "You went into this environment where everyone was united in this spiritual connection through music and dance," she says. "The energy in the air was palpable."

Through the dancefloor, she met influential producers the Basement Boys, and wrote her first club classic, It's Over Now, with them. "We were literally sitting around a kitchen table; the studio was in the basement of Jay's apartment, they pulled music out of the closet, and the vocal booth was in the bathroom. At a time when house was starting to make the transition from underground music into commercial interest, there were no rules in place. That freedom to just experiment and grow in your art has been lost in music culture now, because major labels expect you to come as a shiny, polished new missile, when you're still that diamond in the rough." 041b061a72


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