In the early 1960s, Rip Patton was on the front lines of the civil rights movement. A foot soldier in a coordinated campaign to combat racial inequality on every front. And ultimately, induce the political opposition to revise the central edicts that governed the country.
It was an effort backed by a broad coalition of American people, and fueled by the righteous indignation, and careful strategic practice of the youth.
Rip sits down to talk with poet Destiny Birdsong about his role as a revisionist of American democracy. How Nashville became a test kitchen to formalize the methods of the civil rights movement, and how for Rip, the core tenet of that legacy, is ensuring that the work continues. Then Destiny takes Rips decades of resistance and turns them into poetry.
Versify is a production of Nashville Public Radio and The Porch, Nashville’s nonprofit literary center. Editing for this episode came from WPLN’s Mack Linebaugh with additional editing by Anita Bugg. The episode was written, hosted and produced by Joshua Moore. Today’s story and poem were recorded by Joshua Moore at Nashville Public Radio.
The music is by Jahzzar, and Blue Dot Session, found through the Free Music Archive.
The show is distributed by PRX.