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John Coltrane, Alabama

September 14, 2008

Justice Jukebox

In the wake of the terrible killing of four little girls in the bombing of an Afrcan American church in Birmingham Alabama on 15 Sept 1965, John Coltrane wrote one of his most powerful compositions — “Alabama.” This short piece more than any other music I have heard somehow captures for me the tragedy and triumph of the Civil Rights movement, the redemptive justice finally won at so great a cost by the non-violent response to hatred and cruelty.

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