Photo by: Ginny Suss

Resistance Revival Chorus Tool Kit

Introduction to the Resistance Revival Chorus:

The Resistance Revival Chorus is meant to be recreated all across the country. This toolkit will help you organize your own chorus.

Music and protest songs have always been a hallmark of the great civil rights movements. We honor this tradition by uplifting these songs and creating new ones for the new resistance.

We are calling for a resistance revival, a revival of our spirits, of our commitment to the movement, of our joy and of our power. The Resistance Revival Chorus is a group of women identifying people who bring song to life in the spirit of collective joy and resistance. We aim to bring together, in community, a group of diverse artists to join in songs of resistance and protest with the foundation that JOY is an act of resistance! Our movement must be fueled by equal parts protest and culture. Music and protest songs have always been a hallmark of the great civil rights movements. We honor this tradition by uplifting these songs and creating new ones for the new resistance.

The Resistance Revival Chorus is fully aligned with the Women’s March Unity Principles

We encourage racial and cultural diversity in every Chorus. To be a part of this movement, means standing up for the rights of people who look and can be different for you, and we unite together to amplify our voices, and consequently our songs.

The History of Music in Protest and Resistance:

Music has always been at the core of resistance from indigenous peoples to enslaved Africans singing messages to each other in the fields. Enslaved Africans sang follow the “Drinking Gourd” to escape southern slavery and head to the north. In the labor movement, the movement that gave us our work week, workers sang “Solidarity Forever” to state that the union makes them strong. During the era of Jim Crow, Black folks sang songs like “We Shall Not Be Moved” during direct actions as a sign of resilience. Of course, there is some music that is born out of resistance. One of the most popular forms of music came from struggle, from dreams of revolution, that music is known today as Hip-Hop. When the Bronx was burning and people were fed government cheese to survive, hip-hop was a legendary art form that came from resistance.

That is why we founded the Resistance Revival Chorus, music has always been the center, the core and the joy of protest and resistance.

Photo by: Ginny Suss

Tips to putting on a Resistance Revival:

Musical Coordinator/Director

We would recommend that one person get appointed to lead the group in song. This person should have exceptional musical abilities, she must understand arranging songs, delegating harmony and melody parts and has an ear for chorale singing. This person should also run rehearsals before performances and make sure the songs sound beautiful.

Political/Organizing Coordinator:

Have someone in your choir who knows what events, political actions and protests that the choir can perform at. Nothing is too big or too small! From City Council meetings, to marches, to singing on the steps of Senators offices. We encourage the Resistance Revival Chorus to get out in the streets and remain active!

Sample Songs:

THE RICH MAN’S HOUSE

Traditional Labor Movement Song some lyrics changed by Women’s March

Woke Up this Morning

Spiritual re-worked by the Freedom Singers (members of Sweet Honey in the Rock)

FAQ’s:

Are there only women in the chorus?

The chorus is comprised of people who identify as women. We are trans-inclusive and also inclusive of women who identify as gender non-conforming.

Is there a particular average age for the chorus?

Age is no bar for the chorus. Whoever is passionate, dedicated and engaged, and has the stamina for some real fun, physical performances, is welcome.

Do we need to rehearse?

We would recommend rehearsals prior to every public performance. Not only is it about memorizing the lines, but also connecting with the other singers prior to the event and asking any music-related questions in advance. We would recommend 2–3 rehearsals prior to a show.

Do we all have to wear white?

When performing or being seen publicly, we would recommend that the chorus wear all white as a symbol of solidarity in line with the history of the resistance. White is a symbol for unity and peace. And when we resist we do so peacefully, through non-violence, and in unison.

Can we sing other songs?

Yes, you can choose what songs you would like to sing. We would recommend that the songs are in line with what the resistance stands. Feel free to email The National Resistance Revival Chorus Team if you have songs that you would like to recommend to us.

Where should we perform the songs?

Be creative. The chorus should be singing at flash mobs, protests, rallies, marches, outside your local representatives offices, online! Your creativity is what the Resistance Revival is all about!

Should I register my chorus with the Resistance Revival Chorus?

Yes. Once you start a Chorus please make a public facing Facebook Page. The name of your page should be the city where you are starting the Chorus along with Resistance Revival Chorus, i,e, Los Angeles, Resistance Revival Chorus. Once you have your Facebook page make sure to let us know by following our Facebook page. Knowing that you have a Chorus will allow us to be aligned and participate in national actions together. We will send information on actions that would be good for chorus participation as well as new songs we are loving.

“When the movement is strong. The music is strong.” ~ Harry Belafonte