Monday April 27, 2015

Mavis Staples on crafting a soundtrack for the civil rights era

Mavis Staples says that as long as she has a voice, she'll use it.

Mavis Staples says that as long as she has a voice, she'll use it. (Miguel Vidal/Reuters)

In a special two-part interview, Mavis Staples joins Shad to discuss her decades-long career, her family's role in the civil rights movement and why — in the aftermath of Ferguson — we must collectively heed the lessons of history. 

The legendary gospel/soul singer and civil rights activist is the subject of a new documentary titled Mavis!, screening at this year's Hot Docs Festival. She tells Shad it was time to put the Staples story on the record, and "let the world know pops and his daughters were here". 

Staples also weighs in on the lack of modern day freedom songs, tells the back story of the hit song "Why am I treated so bad?", and sets the record straight on why she turned down Bob Dylan's marriage proposal.

Mavis! - Documentary Trailer from Film First on Vimeo.