Witness To History: Remembering Freedom Summer

WED, NOV 19, 2014 (1:25:25)

Afro-Puerto Rican folksinger, songwriter, actor, and story-teller Jack Landron, remembers his journey from Boston to Mississippi during the Freedom Summer of 1964. Landron worked in the Freedom Schools once served as personal assistant to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr . With family roots in Puerto Rico and years growing up in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, Landron studied theater at Emerson College. Hear his unique perspective on the Civil Rights Movement in a discussion with folklorist Millie Rahn, hosted by the Cambridge Forum. Learn what moved him to travel south that summer and how did his journey affect him then, and over the course of his career.

+ BIO: Jack Landrón

Actor and musician Juan Candido Washington Landron was born in 1938 in Puerto Rico but grew up in the Boston, Massachusetts neighborhood of Roxbury. While attending Boston’s Emerson College (as a theater arts major), he began singing in the local coffeehouses under the name Jackie Washington, quickly establishing himself as one of the most charismatic performers on the Cambridge folk scene during the advent of the folk revival in the early ’60s. Solidly professional, and an excellent guitar player, Landron recorded several albums under the Jackie Washington name during this time, but never garnered the success of other Boston area folk artists of the day, although his arrangement of the ancient British riddle ballad called “Nottamon Town” was used as the source for Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War.” A committed activist, Landron traveled south to work for black voter registration, serving as a personal assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for a time before returning east to New York to resume his acting career under the name Jack Landron.

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