Pete Seeger

As early as August 18, 1955, folk singer Pete Seeger set himself apart as a “true American” when he appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee and refused to name names, stating, “I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this.”

As a target of the communist witch hunt of the 1950s, Seeger was picketed, protested, blacklisted and, in spite of his enormous popularity, banned from American commercial television for more than 17 years. Throughout his ordeal, and his life, he never stopped singing out — and speaking up. “I look upon myself as a planter of seeds,” the legendary artist and political activist says in AMERICAN MASTERS Pete Seeger: The Power of Song.

Watch AMERICAN MASTERS Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, Sunday, December 14th 9:00 p.m. on KUAT6 - your PBS home.

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