Preloading

The Vietnam Vet Who Wrote Folk Songs for the Civil Rights Movement

Herb & Geraldine Metoyer, 79
Location: Southfield, MI
Interview facilitated by Michael Rene Metoyer

In 1964, as a member of the U.S. military, Herb Metoyer wasn't able to join the civil rights movement that was blossoming throughout the country. He did, however, know how to sing and play guitar. He started writing politically-motivated folk songs, several of which were tributes to the men and women who lost their lives for the cause.

One of the most painful losses for Herb was Viola Liuzzo, who was killed shortly after the successful March 1965, march from Selma, Alabama, to the Capitol in Montgomery. "When we heard this news, my wife and I broke down in tears," Herb says.

He decided to write a song about her sacrifice, a song he sings to this day. Herb says, "She registers very high on my list of heroes, and I still cry every time I sing her song."

Watch as Herb shares his unique contribution to the struggle for equal rights.

Hear more stories from people who were at the ground level of the civil rights marches
Published 01/26/2015
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