This Saturday, June 19th at 10pm, Q2 with Terrance McKnight will be highlighting the music of Tom Wiggins. Wiggins, also known as “Blind Tom,” was born blind into slavery on the Bethune plantation, where his family was enslaved. He demonstrated extraordinary musical talent at an early age and, when James Bethune recognized his potential, was granted a life of “freedom” in order to work as a traveling showman.
Most African Americans were not able to live a life of freedom, but Blind Tom was not free in many respects. He was marketed as a circus-style freak and was never paid for his performances, despite being one of the highest earning entertainers in the country – his earnings went to the Bethune family.
Terrance will explore Blind Tom’s music and story on Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day. You can tune in to Q2 with Terrance McKnight at 10pm this Saturday at Classical 105.9 FM or by logging on to www.wqxr.org.