Broadway Answers Selma
April 4, 1965
Responding to the racial injustices in Selma, Alabama, the Broadway community banded together at the Majestic Theater for a fundraiser.
Barbra Streisand sang Harold Arlen's “That's A Fine Kind of Freedom” close to the end of the second act. Martin Charnin collaborated with Arlen on the song, writing the lyrics. It was reported they wrote “Freedom” specially for the evening.
Barbra wore a turtleneck dress made of jersey material. She told columnist Earl Wilson, “I asked my designer to make me a turtleneck sweater, but when you come to the end of the sweater, not to stop.”
The poster described the evening as “A thundering never-to-be forgotten performance for the benefit of the late Reverand James Reeb's family, Voters Education Program of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Scholarship, Education and Defense Fund of Congress of Racial Equality, The L. & M. Rabinowitz Fund of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee.”
Sammy Davis, Jr., who was appearing on Broadway at the time in Golden Boy, hosted the evening.
Actor Martin Sheen participated and told Hollywood Today his remembrances. “In 1965, I was on Broadway at that time doing a play and Selma, Alabama erupted, and we wanted so desperately to answer that, and so we created a show on Broadway,that is all the people on Broadway called Broadway Answers Selma. And it was a huge benefit on one of our dark nights and it was hosted by Sammy Davis Jr., who was on Broadway at that time during Golden Boy ... ”
Below right: Harry Belafonte, Martin Luther King Jr., theater and film producer Hillard Elkins [who produced the evening's show] and Sammy Davis Jr.
Page credits: Scans of the program from that evening were provided to Barbra-Archives.com by Rafe Chase, from his collection. Many thanks!
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