Newsroom Archive


John Jay Remembers the Late Pete Seeger

There are “fierce advocates for justice,” and then there’s Pete Seeger, the folk music icon and activist who died January 27 at age 94. For eight decades, Seeger traveled the United States and the world with his banjo and guitar, using the power of music to fight for racial, economic, political, criminal, social, environmental, artistic and cultural justice.

On March 6, 1996, Seeger visited John Jay as a guest in a Thematic (now Interdisciplinary) Studies course on “The Individual in Conflict.” Co-taught by professors Michael Blitz, Donald Goodman, Geoffrey Fairweather and Gerald Markowitz, the freshman-level course devoted several sessions to “Civil Rights, Race and Racism” – a perfect fit for Seeger, the author or popularizer of such songs as “Turn, Turn, Turn,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “We Shall Overcome” and “If I Had a Hammer,” among many others.

A videotape from the Lloyd Sealy Library archives captured Seeger’s visit. Click here to view the video.