February 20, 2020


12. Angeline Butler – Civil Rights Icon, Musical Force, Living Legend

When asked if she is ever disappointed in the way the world is going, Living Legend Professor Angeline Butler is unwavering. “The revolution is never over.”

Angeline Butler is a founding SNCC activist, performer, director, and teacher who has consistently fought for change, whether through her creativity or her activism. Her legacy continues to inspire as a professor at John Jay College and in her involvement in theater production, music, and storytelling.


Angeline Butler is an original coordinator and participant the Nashville Sit-Ins, a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She is a coordinator of the 1961 Freedom Rides, a coordinator of voter education and registration drives. Participant in the 1960 Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) “Miami Summer” with James Farmer, an organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, and a participant in the Crisfield, Maryland Movement in December 1961.

Angeline Butler has performed theatrically was featured in over 146 television appearances including “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” (NBC),” “The Dick Cavett Show” (ABC), “The Virginia Graham Show,” “The Steve Allen Show,” The Mike Douglass Show, The Joey Bishop Show (ABC), A TV Special “Presenting Davy Jones and Angeline Butler”(Syndicated TV), “Nightlife” with Jan Murray and William B Williams (Syndicated TV).

She is currently on the faculty of John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York. She previously taught as an instructor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Southern California.  Butler also created and coordinated the Ellington Tree Project (1981), and as a director in theatre, she revived Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs.  She was, also, a company member at the Metropolitan Opera from 2003 to 2011 and previously worked at the Los Angeles Opera in 1996-97. Ms. Butler also recorded two albums, one in pop-rock music and one in folk music:  Angeline Butler/Impressions on CoBurt-MGM Records and The Pilgrims/ Just Arrived on Columbia Records (Producer Tom Wilson) with Robert Guillaume, Gilbert Price (and later Millard Williams).

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