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Songs of Solidarity in Hard Times

John Handcox, one of Pete Seeger's longtime idols, is an African American singer, poet, and union organizer. He wrote songs like “Roll the Union On” and “Mean Things Happening in This Land.” These songs moved and inspired musicians and activists battling against social injustices to this day. This Solidarity in Hard Times playlist pays tribute to John Hancox’s formative influence on labor music and music sung during times of struggle. It accompanies the Smithsonian Folkways Magazine article “Sharecropper’s Troubadour: Songs of Solidarity in Hard Times.”