We Shall Overcome Foundation


                                IN THE  NEWS!

On April 12, 2016 the, We Shall Overcome Foundation (WSOF) filed an historic class action lawsuit against, THE RICHMOND ORGANIZATION / Ludlow Music, Inc. - the powerful music publishing company organization which has for more than half a century, illegitimately claimed ownership and control over the globally revered freedom song, "We Shall Overcome". Soon afterwards, the producers of, "Lee Daniels The Butler" who were charged $15,000 for a ten second use, joined us. Our suit seeks to liberate and restore, "We Shall Overcome" to the public domain. WSOF is committed to expressing its First Amendment constitutional rights by exposing the truth about, "We Shall Overcome" with the world. Below, see what the global press has to say about it.

Federal Judge Rules First Verse Of 'We Shall Overcome' Public Domain

Last Friday, a federal judge in Manhattan ordered that the first and most famous verse of the Civil Rights era anthem "We Shall Overcome" belongs in the public domain. Plaintiffs in the case had asked the judge to negate a half-century-old copyright by four songwriters, including the late Pete Seeger.

'We Shall Overcome' Verse Now in the Public Domain

smithsonian.com Part of the classic Civil Rights song "We Shall Overcome" has now entered the public domain after a U.S. judge struck down its copyright protections last Friday , reports Rick Karr for NPR. "I couldn't be more humbled or thrilled to share the news that [...]

'We Shall Overcome' Verse Not Under Copyright, Judge Rules

Last year, the song's copyright was challenged by the makers of a documentary on the song's history and by the makers the 2013 film "Lee Daniels' The Butler," who wanted to use part of the song in the movie.

"We Shall Overcome" plaintiffs win key copyright ruling

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge handed challengers to copyrights for the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" a victory on Friday, ruling that the lyrics and melody of the song's first verse do not qualify for copyright protection. U.S.

The most famous civil rights song, "We Shall Overcome," is no longer copyrighted

A federal judge ruled (PDF) on Friday that the most famous verse of the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" is not copyrighted. The ruling is a decisive, but still incomplete win for the two plaintiffs.

"We Shall Overcome" Verse Ruled Public Domain

"We Shall Overcome" Verse Ruled Public Domain. Read more about this and other GRAMMYs news at GRAMMY.com.




Cincinnati, Ohio, -September 28, 2013. At an historic cultural gathering of influential religious, academic, civic  leaders and activists, Lee Daniels, the Oscar-nominated director of "Precious" and the critically acclaimed film, "Lee Daniels' The Butler", was awarded the ‘We Shall Overcome Foundation 'Oscar Micheaux Freedom Award’ at the first annual, ‘We Shall Overcome-An Evening of Hope: The Life and Legacy of Louise Shropshire’. Mr. Daniels was presented the award by Civil Rights Hall of Fame Inductee, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr., who himself was subject to violence of the African American Civil Rights movement, such as that, which was vividly depicted in "Lee Daniels' The Butler".

What started out by Rev. Moss as a deeply moving tribute to Mr. Daniels and his recent directorial work on ‘Lee Daniels The Butler’, evolved into a powerful "I Saw ‘the Butler’" sermon, during which Rev. Moss powerfully articulated his personal connection to the film's principal character, Cecil Gaines depicted by actor, Forrest Whitaker. Rev. Moss also remarked on the "astonishing" historical accuracy portrayed in Daniels’ film. During his acceptance speech, Lee Daniels wept tenderly and then, spoke humbly - not of himself, but of the "True Heroes" of the American Civil Rights Movement. He then pointed out and thanked Mrs. Betty Daniels Rosemond, who was herself a freedom rider. Earlier in the program, Mrs. Rosemond had presented the We Shall Overcome Foundation "Harriet Tubman Activism Award" to Simone Sheffield; Co=producer of   "Precious"  and "Lee Daniels' The Butler",


In one of the highlights of the evening, immediately following Lee Daniel’s acceptance speech, Civil Rights Hall of Fame Inductee, Rev, Dr. Damon Lynch Jr. took to the stage and asked all ministers in the audience to come forward. Approximately 35 men and women of faith, then made their way to the stage and, led by the President of the Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Rev. Dr. Clarence "C.W." Newsome, formed a circle around Daniels, laid hands on him and, along with the entire audience, blessed him and his work. It was truly an exceptional and historic night in Cincinnati, Ohio. - Like no other before it but hopefully, many to follow.

The 'We Shall Overcome~ An Evening of Hope: The Life and Legacy of Louise Shropshire' gala  was an award ceremony and tribute to Louise Shropshire - the newly discovered "missing-link" author of the iconic freedom song, "We Shall Overcome". 

The evening concluded with representatives from the city of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Public Schools, the University of Cincinnati and the Ohio State House of Representatives, all of which presented historic resolutions and declarations affirming Louise Shropshire's authorship of "We Shall Overcome"; the song the US Library of Congress has called; "The Most Powerful Song of the 20th Century".

Founded by Isaias Gamboa -the We Shall Overcome Foundation is a Christian based, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to the spiritual, social, educational, political and economic survival of the poor and marginalized throughout the world.

In an historic City Council resolution,
the City of Cincinnati, Ohio has unanimously
affirmed Louise Shropshire as the true "Original Author"
of the powerful freedom song, We Shall Overcome.
The resolution was approved on September 11, 2013
by all nine city council members and signed by the
mayor of  Cincinnati, Ohio; Mark Mallory. 

For more than half a century prior to the release of the book, We Shall OVercome: Sacred Song on the Devil's Tongue" by Isaias Gamboa, the founder of WE SHALL OVERCOME FOUNDATION, the "original" 
author of We Shall Overcome had been listed as "unknown".