Sections
Home » Issues » Stand Up to Corporate Power » Americans Who Tell the Truth :: Pat Humphries

Get a FREE Issue. Yes! I want to try YES! Magazine

Nonprofit. Independent. Subscriber-supported. DONATE. How you can support our work.

YES! by Email
Join over 78,000 others already signed up for FREE YES! news.
[SAMPLE]

The YES! ChicoBag(R). Full-size tote that fits in your pocket!

 

Americans Who Tell the Truth :: Pat Humphries

Logo
spacer
Edward Abbey thumbnail picspacerMuhammad Ali thumbnail picspacerSusan B. Anthony thumbnail pic
AbbeyspacerAlispacerAnthony
spacer
Ella Baker thumbnail picspacerJames Baldwin thumbnail picspacerDavid Barsamian thumbnail pic
BakerspacerBaldwinspacerBarsamian
spacer
Medea Benjamin thumbnail picspacerWendell Berry thumbnail picspacerGrace Lee Boggs thumbnail pic
BenjaminspacerBerryspacerBoggs
spacer
Judy Bonds thumbnail picspacerFather Roy Bourgeois thumbnail picspacerBetty Burkes thumbnail pic
BondsspacerBourgeoisspacerBurkes
spacer
Smedley Butler thumbnail picspacerRachel Carson thumbnail picspacerMajora Carter thumbnail pic
ButlerspacerCarsonspacerCarter
Cesar Chavez thumbnail picspacerShirley Chisholm thumbnail picspacerNoam Chomsky thumbnail pic
ChavezspacerChisholmspacerChomsky
spacer
William Sloane Coffin thumbnail picspacerRachel Corrie thumbnail picspacerOssie Davis thumbnail pic
CoffinspacerCorriespacerDavis
spacer
Eugene Debs thumbnail picspacerFrederick Douglass thumbnail picspacerW.E.B. DuBois thumbnail pic
DebsspacerDouglassspacerDuBois
spacer
Marian Wright Edelman thumbnail picspacerDwight Eisenhower thumbnail picspacerRalph Ellison thumbnail pic
EdelmanspacerEisenhowerspacerEllison
spacer
Paul Farmer thumbnail picspacerRoss Gelbspan thumbnail picspacerStan Goff thumbnail pic
FarmerspacerGelbspanspacerGoff
spacer
Emma Goldman thumbnail picspacerAmy Goodman thumbnail picspacerGranny D (Doris Haddock) thumbnail pic
GoldmanspacerGoodmanspacerGranny D
spacer
Richard Grossman thumbnail picspacerWoody Guthrie thumbnail picspacerFannie Lou Hamer thumbnail pic
GrossmanspacerGuthriespacerHamer
spacer
Harry Hay thumbnail picspacerJim Hightower thumbnail picspacerLangston Hughes thumbnail pic
HayspacerHightowerspacerHughes
spacer
Pat Humphries thumbnail picspacerZora Neale Hurston thumbnail picspacerMolly Ivins thumbnail pic
HumphriesspacerHurstonspacerIvins
spacer
Derrick Jensen thumbnail picspacerMother Jones thumbnail picspacerVan Jones thumbnail pic
JensenspacerJonesspacerJones
spacer
Helen Keller thumbnail picspacerKathy Kelly thumbnail picspacerMarjorie Kelly thumbnail pic
KellerspacerKellyspacerKelly
spacer
Robert F. Kennedy thumbnail picspacerMartin Luther King thumbnail picspacerJonathan Kozol thumbnail pic
KennedyspacerKingspacerKozol
spacer
Dennis Kucinich thumbnail picspacerWinona LaDuke thumbnail picspacerDorothea Lange thumbnail pic
KucinichspacerLaDukespacerLange
spacer
Frances Moore Lappe thumbnail picspacerAbraham Lincoln thumbnail picspacerJoanne Macy thumbnail pic
LappéspacerLincolnspacerMacy
spacer
Perry Mann thumbnail picspacerNatasha Mayers thumbnail picspacerBill McKibben thumbnail pic
MannspacerMayersspacerMcKibben
spacer
Cynthia McKinney thumbnail picspacerArthur Miller thumbnail picspacerBill Moyers thumbnail pic
McKinneyspacerMillerspacerMoyers
spacer
spacer
John Muir thumbnail picspacerCarlos Munoz Jnr. thumbnail picspacerRalph Nader thumbnail pic
MuirspacerMunozspacerNader
spacer
Scott Nearing thumbnail picspacerRosa Parks thumbnail picspacerUtah Phillips thumbnail pic
NearingspacerParksspacerPhillips
spacer
Jeanette Rankin thumbnail picspacerPaul Robeson thumbnail picspacerEleanor Roosevelt thumbnail pic
RankinspacerRobesonspacerRoosevelt
spacer
David Rovics thumbnail picspacerPete Seeger thumbnail picspacerCindy Sheehan thumbnail pic
RovicsspacerSeegerspacerSheehan
spacer
Lateefah Simon thumbnail picspacerSamantha Smith thumbnail picspacerElizabeth Cady Stanton thumbnail pic
SimonspacerSmithspacerStanton
spacer
Emma Tenayuca thumbnail picspacerStuds Terkel thumbnail picspacerHelen Thomas thumbnail pic
TenayucaspacerTerkelspacerThomas
spacer
Hugh Thompson thumbnail picspacerHenry David Thoreau thumbnail picspacerSojourner Truth thumbnail pic
ThompsonspacerThoreauspacerTruth
spacer
Harriet Tubman thumbnail picspacerMark Twain thumbnail picspacerAlice Waters thumbnail pic
TubmanspacerTwainspacerWaters
spacer
Ida B. Wells thumbnail picspacerPaul Wellstone thumbnail picspacerWalt Whitman thumbnail pic
WellsspacerWellstonespacerWhitman
spacer
Judy Wicks thumbnail picspacerJody Williams thumbnail picspacerTerry Tempest Williams thumbnail pic
WicksspacerWilliamsspacerWilliams
spacer
Diane Wilson thumbnail picspacerTilly Woodward thumbnail picspacerAnn Wright thumbnail pic
WilsonspacerWoodwardspacerWright
spacer
Malcolm X thumbnail picspacerChief Joseph Hinmton Yalektit thumbnail picspacerLily Yeh thumbnail pic
Malcolm XspacerYalektitspacerYeh
spacer
Howard Zinn thumbnail picspacer
Zinnspacer
spacer
spacer
Robert Shetterly's portrait of Pat Humphries
spacer
“Came home from school to the war on TV
Looked at the soldiers and thought I saw me.
Looked at the children and saw my own face.
I saw myself dying all over the place.”
spacer
Pat Humphries
spacer
40 of 100
spacer

Social Justice Activist, singer/songwriter, (1960— )

Think of calls for social justice, sung loudly rather than shouted. Songs to embrace, sing along with and even dance to. Songs to inspire courage, build community, and create peace. Songs by Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and Pat Humphries — one half, along with Sandy O, of the activist duo emma’s revolution. This is Pat’s tale.

Pat Humphries was born in Ohio in 1960, not far from Kent State University. She started singing and playing guitar as a young child. In 1970, at an anti-Vietnam War demonstration at Kent State, where some of her sisters were attending school, the Ohio National Guard shot and killed four peaceful student demonstrators. It affected Humphries and her family personally, and at the young age of ten, triggered her dedication to activism. As a teenager, Humphries traveled and performed with youth choruses and began playing in Cleveland. Her love of performing led her to leave Kent State and join the National Folk Festival. As Humphries puts it, “the subject matter that I was singing about had been amply covered by other singers and I wanted to sing about something else. I left school, got a day job organizing arts events and started writing songs…. I was affected by the feminist movement, the anti-nuclear movement, the farmworker boycotts, the lesbian and gay movement, the American Indian movement and the environmental movement.” She composed “Never Turning Back” at a songwriting workshop. This song, still popular, became an unofficial theme song of the UN Fourth Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, and was called “one of the best songs I’ve heard in 50 years” by Pete Seeger.

Humphries has written songs of social justice for women, migrant workers, anyone whose voices and stories need to be heard. She has traveled across the country, and also to Cuba and Nicaragua. In 2002, NPR played Humphries’ song “Swimming to the Other Side” on its’ program “All Things Considered,” and suddenly her name was in the national spotlight. By this time, she had met Sandy Opatow (O), and they had formed a duo. After trying to work out a name for their group, they turned to activist Emma Goldman (whose portrait is in this collection) for inspiration. Goldman had a fierce dedication to fighting for the rights of women, children, workers, and free speech. She also believed in everyone’s right to “free expression, to beautiful, radiant things.” Another phrase attributed to Goldman is, “if I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”And it is in that spirit that they became emma’s revolution. They tour nationally and internationally. Right after the 9/11 attacks, Humphries and Sandy O composed “Peace Salaam Shalom” (Peace in English, Arabic, and Hebrew), and have played it loudly ever since in protest of the Iraq war. Humphries said, “Clearly work had to be done in the wake of the bombing. There was a need of mutual understanding of what peace means – that’s at the heart of the work that we do.” Humphries’ song “We Are One” was chosen as the theme of the 2003 conference in D.C. on the reunification of North and South Korea. Emma’s revolution went to Korea with the conference organizers, and they had the song translated into Korean so they could perform it both ways.

Pat Humphries is committed to her music and the power of words in the struggle for justice. Emma’s revolution continues to perform everywhere with their powerful and inspiring songs. They are writing a book about their songs and the stories behind them called An Uprising of Hope (due out in October 2009). Recently they played at the first ever Inaugural Peace Ball for President Barack Obama. You can find emma’s revolution and their CDs at http://emmasrevolution.com

spacer
See the full set of Robert Shetterly's portraits at www.americanswhotellthetruth.org.

Tools for Teaching: see the acompanying curriculum materials with suggestions on how to use the portraits and biographies of these American truth-tellers in your classroom.
spacer
spacer
BUY THE BOOK AND GREETING CARDS FROM THE YES! STORE:
spacer
Americans Who Tell the Truth ::

Robert Shetterly's series highlights Americans past and present whose dignity, courage, and honesty have shaped this country.

This beautiful coffee-table book is an eloquent collection of portraits and stirring words of these brave citizens from all walks of life.
spacer
Card Sets ::

A special YES! selection of Greeting Cards from the series in sets of 8 (with envelopes).

Sets feature high quality prints of the portraits, complete with quotes and biographies.

Posters also available from the artist.
spacer
spacer
Donate buttonHelp support our work
Become a Dedicated Friend of YES! and we'll send you a FREE copy of Americans Who Tell the Truth and three cards with YES! heroes.
Email Signup
Stand Up to Corporate Power
Comment on this article

How to add a commentCommenting Policy

comments powered by Disqus


You won’t see any commercial ads in YES!, in print or on this website.
That means, we rely on support from our readers.

||   SUBSCRIBE    ||   GIVE A GIFT   ||   DONATE   ||
Independent. Nonprofit. Subscriber-supported.




Current Issue Footer

Personal tools