Civil Rights Choir Tour
A concert tour of important sites related to the Civil Rights struggle.
Atlanta, Montgomery, Selma, Birmingham
July 3-7, 2019
Over four days, GCB will be joined by the Congressional Chorus of Washington DC in performing concerts that give voice to the struggle for civil rights with the hope of helping to create change and cultivate a deeper understanding of race in the United States.
Why this trip in 2019?
The year 2019 marks the centennial of the Red Summer of 1919 when a series of deadly racial
conflicts and lynchings in more than 30 American cities led to hundreds of people, most of
them black, being killed or lynched, thousands of African-American businesses being destroyed
and tens of thousands being forced to flee their homes.
The Great Migration that began in 1910 involved the relocation of more than 6 million African-
Americans who moved from the southern United States to the Midwest, West and Northeast
over a 60-year period. Spurred by limited economic opportunities, Jim Crow segregation laws,
and violence and lynchings by the KKK, African-Americans found employment in industrial cities
that were experiencing labor shortages due to World War I. When soldiers returned from the
war to major cities in the US, white workers in the North and Midwestern cities resented the
African-Americans who were given jobs they once held in factories. In addition, African-
American soldiers did not receive the same benefits as white soldiers who fought in the same
war. Tensions reached a boiling point in May of 1919 when the first racially-motivated attacks
began. The period from May to October of 1919 during which these racial conflicts occurred is
referred to as the “Red Summer.”
Fast forward a century. What progress have we made? The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting
Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 all led to reforms. Nonetheless, there
remain daily parallels between the headlines of 1919 and those of today. This tour will provide
insights to the long dark shadow of racism in the United States.