Michael Mwenso Shares A Collection Of Protest Songs : World Cafe : World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN You might know him as a musician and bandleader, but Mwenso can now add "teacher" to his list of accomplishments.

Michael Mwenso Shares A Collection Of Protest Songs

Michael Mwenso On World Cafe

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Michael Mwenso. Josh Kohn/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Josh Kohn/Courtesy of the artist

Michael Mwenso.

Josh Kohn/Courtesy of the artist

Playlist

  • Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra, "(What Did I Do To Be So) Black And Blue"
  • Big Bill Broonzy, "Black, Brown And White"
  • Mahalia Jackson, "How I Got Over"
  • James Brown, "I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door I'll Get It Myself)"
  • Yes, "Release, Release"
  • Mwenso And The Shakes, "No Regrets"

The name Michael Mwenso should be familiar to World Cafe listeners. Mwenso is an artist, activist and ambassador who leads the band Mwenso and the Shakes. When they were our guests last year, we heard the band perform and Mwenso told stories about being born in Africa and growing up in England. As a boy, Mwenso befriended James Brown and was invited to sing and dance with him on stage.

Now, Michael Mwenso can add "teacher" to his list of accomplishments. He recently became a visiting professor at the University of Buffalo in New York, where his role is not only to teach classes, but also to help boost the arts scene while focusing on Black music and artists through a program called "Protest, Hope and Resilience Through Black Arts."

The course is described as "a personally curated curriculum of history and music that explores how people of color have been agents of positive change and inclusion." We recently invited Mwenso to World Cafe so he could share some of his favorite protest songs.

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