Monday, November 10, 2008


Miriam Makeba, Mamma Africa, died this morning in Italy after performing a concert in support of immigrants. The concert was also held to protest the Italian government's policies against Rroma, including fingerprinting of all Rroma in Italy. She was 76.

Miriam Makeba was banished from her country, South Africa, in the 60's because of her anti-apartheid songs. She did not return until Nelson Mandella was released from prison.
Sponsored by Harry Belafonte, she became a popular and respected singer in the United States.

I was lucky to meet her in 1972, at a school on Staten Island, New York. She was a courageous and gentle woman who encouraged us in our political struggles for the end of the VietNam War, and the rights of all people. She supported the struggles of people of color, women and gays everywhere.

Miriam Makeba was an inspiration to all who fight for human rights and dignity.

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