Power of the Protest Song with Pamela Means



Meekins Library (2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA 01096, Williamsburg MA)

Full Press Release

 Pamela Means has won multiple Local Cultural Council grants, local agencies supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, to tour and perform this show TWENTY-EIGHT times and counting across Massachusetts in 2023.

 Pamela Means presents The Power of The Protest Song: Our Shared History & Present Day. Part-performance and mini-presentation, this family-friendly public event will explore the origin stories and lineages of protest songs, how their meanings and effects continue to transform through time and space, and how they have inspired--and continue to inspire--movements and cultural shifts within the realms of racial and social justice. In addition, Pamela will also share her own experiences with becoming an artist and using her voice. A curated assortment of original songs and select, recognizable covers will be integrated into the presentation as a powerful demonstration of how grounding, unifying, and mobilizing protest songs can be.

 **This program is supported in part by a grant from Williamsburg Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.**


*“Stark, defiant songs.” - New York Times*

 *“When Pamela Means picks up her guitar and begins to sing, a listener doesn’t forget her. She possesses musical attitude and purpose.” - WSHU Connecticut Public Radio*

 *"Within the industry and in print, I've been called a 'white Tracy Chapman' and a 'black Ani DiFranco'. And the legacy of Nina Simone. But, really, I'm just me." - Pamela Means*

 Pamela Means is an Easthampton MA-based Out(spoken), Biracial, independent artist whose “kamikaze guitar style” and punchy provocative songs have worn a hole in two of her acoustic guitars. Armed with razor wit, timing of a stand-up comic, an engaging presence, elegant poetry, and irresistible charm, Pamela Means’s “stark, defiant songs” (New York Times) set the status quo and the stage afire.

 Pamela’s commitment to interrogating social ills was fostered by her unique childhood. “As the adopted daughter of a white mother and black father, I learned about dismantling systems of oppression from the inside out.” Pamela received her first guitar at the age of fourteen, just after her mother died of cancer, and it soon became Pamela’s primary vehicle for expression. It would also serve as a passport out of a life that consisted of poverty, foster homes, and the inner city life of hyper-segregated Milwaukee WI.

 Pamela Means relocated to Boston, busked in the city subway and famed Harvard Square, founded her own record label and began touring. Pamela has since performed on three continents and across the country, gaining fans and rave reviews from Anchorage to Amsterdam, Sydney to Stockholm, San Francisco to Honolulu to New York, breaking album sales records at national festivals and sharing stages with Pete Seeger, Neil Young, Shawn Colvin, Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Gil Scott-Heron, Adrian Belew, Violent Femmes, Holly Near and more. Means has also been the recipient of several nominations and music awards in multiple categories. 

 Pamela Means “exhibits a rare emotional fire in today’s folk world,” (Seven Days, Burlington VT) so much so that Ani DiFranco exclaimed, “you’ve got such a deep, deep groove, I can’t get out. And, I wouldn’t want to.” With Truth as ammunition, Pamela Means brings the fight for social justice and human dignity to the forefront of a new generation.