Karla Threadgill ByrdReneé B. Drummond-Brown

Renee’ B. Drummond-Brown, a current student at CUBM, considers it her badge of honor to have spoken to the legendary Ms. Rutha Mae Harris, one of the original Freedom Singers of the Civil Rights Movement.

While attending Rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement class, instructor Dr. Todd Allen telephoned his friend, Ms. Rutha Mae Harris, one of the original Freedom Singers of the Civil Rights Movement. The students had a chance to ask questions about her part in the Civil Rights Movement and hear her sing some of their songs. Renee’ wrote the following poem as a result of this experience and had her story published in the Metro Gazette. You can read her story on the Metro Gazette site.

Her Poem

Ms. Rutha Mae Harris
A Thank You for your involvement in the civil rights movement

Thank you concerning the Movement, with your gift of songs,
Thank you for knowing and singing “It Was the Blood” for me, while being done wrong!
Thank you for singing about that “Old Time Religion”, that we so longed!

Thank you for singing “Before I’ll Be A Slave I’ll Be Buried In My Grave”
Thank you for singing “Just A Little Walk With Thee” while being brave,
Thank you for singing “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” while Non Violence was the message of the day!

Thank you for singing our way in, and out of those jails,
Thank you for singing “I’ve got Jesus and that’s enough”, with no bail.
Thank you for singing: “He’s so Real” in times, when you were frail.
Thank you for singing “We’ve Come This Far by Faith” can’t turn around, and we won’t go to Hell!

Thank you for singing “Pass Me Not, O’Gentle Savior”, and hear my humble cry,
Thank you for singing “Somebody Prayed for Me” and told Satan GOOD-BYE!
Thank you for singing “I Won’t Complain” which made our oppressors wonder why?
Thank you for singing “Walk in the Light” while always prepared to die!
Thank you for singing “Precious Lord Take my Hand” while you took that stance,
Thank you for singing “How I Got Over” while taking that chance,
Thank you for singing to kids “I’ve Been In A Storm” and “Respect Yourself” in advance,
Thank you for singing “I’ve Got A Testimony” to President Barack Obama, as you ‘RUTHA MAE HARRIS’, do your Holy Ghost dance (In Song)!

Dedicated to: Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White Men who bled and died
For The Civil Rights Movement!