January 23, 2009

Omitting Pete Seeger derails concert review

While I understand the difficulty of writing a concert review and know that someone will inevitably be disappointed by a reviewer's failure to mention a concert participant, The Baltimore Sun's review of the inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial was egregious in its omission of the presence of Pete Seeger ("Musical messages of hope, faith," Jan. 19).

While many Hollywood celebrities were part of the celebration, no other person was more deserving of that bully pulpit on such a day of celebration than was Mr. Seeger, who was blacklisted in the 1950s, marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and participated in the Poor People's March in 1968 at that same site.

No other performer on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that day has sung before so vast a number of Americans over such a period of time as Mr. Seeger has.

Kudos to those who remarked on the historic nature of the concert and who recognized the participation of Mr. Seeger, who has been speaking truth to power since before most of the participants in the concert were born, as a central point of that history.

Unfortunately, The Baltimore Sun's reporter was not one of them.

Susan Hartman, Baltimore

The writer is the editor of a magazine of folk and world music.

Southern sympathizers maintain their tradition

Despite the disgraceful decision by the Johns Hopkins University not to rent space to the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the unfortunate support of that decision by The Baltimore Sun's editorial board ("A Civil action," Nov. 21), a very successful Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Stonewall Jackson birthday ceremony was held Jan. 17.

Despite the severe cold, members of numerous patriot and historical groups, as well as interested citizens, gathered at the Lee and Jackson Monument to honor these two great Americans and the thousands who served with them.

Those of us who respect our ancestors and our history would not be deterred from holding our annual remembrance of that day by the intolerance of the Johns Hopkins University and The Baltimore Sun.

G. Elliott Cummings, Baltimore

The writer is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

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