A few weeks ago, I went to a memorial service for the father of a good friend of mine. Norm Adelman, the father of my friend, was a fine person, but I only knew him during his last ten or so years of life, when he had been visited by Parkinson's. In his earlier life, which I learned about mainly from his daughter, he had been a vigorous political activist--pushing for integration in the Milwaukee of the 1960s--and a social activist, leading a community organization that sponsored summer camps that were not only coed (considered scandalous when he first proposed the idea) but also racially integrated (unheard of!). I think he knew that no one could overcome racial/ethnic fears and misconceptions without exposure to "The Other" in a daily and communal context. And, as my husband said, he likely also thought that the artificial divisions set up between people and groups based on sex and race/ethnicity were just stupid--and also damaging and diminishing.
Norm and his family were/are extremely musical, and camps always have music (camp songs) associated with them. So the memorial had much music--from this family members, including daughters and grandchildren, as well as former campers and camp staff. It was pretty great--all the variety of styles and voices and sounds.
One song we heard that day was "Which Side Are You On?" which was written in 1931 by Florence Reece, the wife of a union organizer for the United Mine Workers in Harlan County, Kentucky. This song made a lot of sense in those union-organizing times and also in the context of Norm's memorial--because of the era in which he came of age and his political activism.