Music Video

Our Native Daughters - "I Knew I Could Fly"

June 2019

"Alli and I co-wrote the lyrics to this song, thinking of discrimination and how it has shaped our American experience; as we were writing the words, we realized that they could equally apply to the life and legacy of Etta Baker. I used to practice guitar to Etta Baker’s album Railroad Bill. Etta was a Piedmont blues guitarist. She gave up much of her public performing after her marriage in 1936 and the subsequent birth of her nine children. She later told the National Endowment for the Arts that her husband didn’t want her “to be gone away from home, but he loved my music.” A few years after her husband’s death in 1967 she began to concentrate more on playing the blues. In 1991, she was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. — Leyla McCalla

Director: Charlie Webber
Story Producer: Abigail Hendrix

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