From the very beginning of her career, Joan Baez has been merging her music and for politics.
“If we have to put labels on me, I would prefer the first label to be human being, the second label to be pacifist, and if we have to have a third, it can be folk singer,” Baez told reporters in the 60s.
In 1962, Baez agreed to tour the South, says Leila Ettachfini, but only to integrated audiences. A year later, she performed “We Shall Overcome” to over 200,000 people at the March on Washington on the same day that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech.
After more than 50 years as an activist and performer, Baez says she doesn’t has high expectations: “If you track the record of human rights,” she told Broadly, “it’s really pretty awful.” Still, she insists, each of us must do what is right regardless of the outcome.