Jubiliee! A Tribute to Guy and Candie Carawan


Guy and Candie Carawan marched with Martin Luther King through the streets of Selma. They stood with coal miners whose faces bore the pallor of lives lived mostly without sun. They sang the songs of freedom, hope and protest wherever they found themselves, and their music gave courage to Americans fighting for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Knox County Public Library’s Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound proudly presents Jubilee! A tribute to Guy and Candie Carawan on Friday, April 10, at 5:30 at the East Tennessee History CenterAdmission is free.

Guy Carawan came to Tennessee in 1959 to become music director for the Highlander Folk School, then located in Monteagle. Shortly after arriving, he introduced a song called “We Shall Overcome” to a group of college students. The song became the anthem of the civil rights movement.

At another Highlander workshop, he met and married Candie Anderson who was an exchange student at Fisk University in Nashville. The early years of their marriage were spent on the front lines of the civil rights movement and documenting the culture of the people who lived on Johns Island, off the coast of South Carolina.

In the 1970s, the Highlander Center relocated to New Market and turned its attention to the issues facing Appalachia. The Carawans moved to New Market as well, raising a family, conducting workshops and festivals, and preserving the music and culture of the region. Through it all they maintained a performance schedule that took them around the world.

Schedule of Events:

5:30: Museum of East Tennessee History opens free to the pubic.

6:00: Photography exhibit—“The People of Johns Island, South Carolina” features the works of Robert Yellin. Yellin’s work captures an African American community that comes alive through photographs from the 1966 book Ain’t You Got a Right to the Tree of Life? by Guy and Candie Carawan.

7:00: Live music in the Carawan Tradition—freedom songs, Appalachian, and gospel music performed by Carawan family and friends including The Carpetbag Singers, Evan Carawan and the Celtic Collaborators, Nancy Brennan Strange, Dan Gammon, Steve Horton, and George Reynolds.

8:00: Video treasures from the vaults—The Telling Takes Me Home (2005): A special 10th anniversary screening of Heather Carawan’s moving documentary that integrates her own reflections on growing up in a rich musical and political landscape with her parents' views on race relations, community organizing, and the sustaining power of song; Carawan Lost and Found, a selection of rare footage from the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image & Sound archives, including clips from an obscure 1965 CBS documentary entitled John’s Island, forgotten live performances, and never-before-seen raw footage from the television station WBIR Heartland Series.

For more information contact Bradley Reeves or Eric Dawson at 865-215-8556.