Your Take: Defining 'My America' on Independence Day

Monday, July 04, 2011

We've been asking listeners to tell us: What does the phrase 'My America' means to you? Mary Joe Mercer from the Osage Nation Reservation in Oklahoma, told us about the Native Americans that have called this country home for thousands of years. On the Fourth of July, Mercer joins us to give us another perspective on what 'America' means.


Mary Joe Mercer

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Noel King

Comments [17]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, THE NATIVE INDIAN POPULACE, HAVE NOT BEEN GIVEN THEIR RIGHTS AND UNTIL OUR GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS THEIR ENDEAVORS WE CANNOT FULLY PROCLAIM "JUSTICE VFOR ALL." I like most Americans am a descendent from immigrants. My grandparents arrived nearly 150 years ago. MUSIC AND FIREWORKS TOGETHER GO LIKE MOTHERHOOD AND APPLE PIE !!! AMERICANA music includes all the formats that have transfigured our image from a concept of a melting pot to a vigorous happy extollment of our individual backgrounds of national origin, race, religion, and creed. Our country should revel in our diversity and expression of our individual cultures with their mores and ideals. This past Saturday, June 9th, I sang a program at the YOGA, RAW FOOD EXPO at the New Yorker Hotel entitled BRING HIM HOME, including that named selection from the Broadway musical LES MISERABLES. The selections relate to our times and our concerns, our love of country, especially to sustaining hope for a better world for all, free of the conflicts of war and with the most urgent concern to bring our troops back home. On Saturday September 8th, I will repeat the program, with 38 selections in a three hour concert, same title, at the Lake Hiawatha Library (NJ), starting at 1 PM. Included on the presentation will be The Impossible Dream [the Quest], Climb Ev'ry Mountain, The House I Live In, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, Do You Hear the People Sing?, When Johnnie Comes Marching Home, This Land is Your Land, You'll Never Walk Alone, Granada, Kimbaya, New York, New York, Billy Bigelow's Soliloquy from Carousel, There's No Business Like Show Business, St. Louis Blues, Dixie, Wien, Wien, nur du allein, My Old Kentucky Home, Carry Me Back TO Old Virginny, Easter Parade [Fifth Avenue figures here), San Francisco, Chicago, La Vie en Rose, Oh, What a Beautiful Morning, Some Enchanted Evening, Summertime, Deep in the Heart of Texas, Big D, I Love Paris in the Springtime, Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis, Oklahoma, On the Street Where You Live, Around the World, Arriverderci Roma, Valencia, Siboney, Song of India and Earth Anthem, which I premiered in 1998 as an environmental tribute to our MOTHER EARTH and 2 more numbers. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor and the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where professional actors are trained for the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers are coached in the Wagner roles and voice production and dramaturgy techniques. Websites:,, and where one may download, free, 37 complete "Live from Carnegie Hall" selections that I have sung in four concerts, three of them three hours-long solo concerts and one concert, a Joint Recital with the dramatic soprano Norma Jean Erdmann, in the main hall of Carnegie Hall, the Isaac Stern Auditorium, by opening up, downloading, from the "Recorded Selections" venue.

Jul. 02 2012 06:27 PM
Rahim from algeria

thank you Mary Joe Mercer i am one of 22.000 winners in DV-2012 lottery we need all your assistance please

Jul. 06 2011 06:04 AM
hicham farouk from Meknes Morocco

thank you for your support !

22k winners need help dv 2012

Jul. 05 2011 08:43 PM
ashdar from Egypt

USA is the land of diversity so we expect a wise solution to pass the 22000 winners to prove that USA deserve this huge amount of respect

Jul. 05 2011 05:54 PM
MemoFawzy from Egypt

GOD Bless America. Greetings from 22,000 winners in DV-2012 Lottery

Jul. 05 2011 04:52 PM
waled mosa

thank you for your support !

22k winners need help dv 2012

Jul. 05 2011 04:45 PM
waled mosa

thank you for your support !

Jul. 05 2011 04:44 PM
MemoFawzy from Egypt

Thank you Mary. I'm one from 22,000 winners in DV-2012 lottery. I was very sad when i knew that the result was voided. It's unfair when someone succeeded in an exam and suddenly, i have to re-do the exam again. We are humans not Machines or just case numbers. Please help us.

Jul. 05 2011 04:42 PM
issa from jijel


Jul. 05 2011 04:40 PM
waled mosa

hank you for your support !

Jul. 05 2011 04:36 PM
Belkadi Nabil from Algeria, Kabylie

thank you very much Mr.Mary Joe Mercer.

Jul. 05 2011 04:36 PM


Jul. 05 2011 09:17 AM

USA keeps promises so it will review our case inchallah e optimised

Jul. 04 2011 07:55 PM

@Mary Joe Mercer Thank you for your support !! i really appreciate you !!

(one of the 22k winners)

Jul. 04 2011 01:23 PM
Jalal El Mir from Chefchaouen, Morocco

Thank you Mary Joe Mercer, I am one of the 22.000 victims of the visa lottery glitch. Listening to your reaction about " Citizenship lottery" made me feel very hopeful that we are going to come to the US and become legal American citizens! You're a great person; thank you for your positive image about immigrants and immigration in the US. I am happy there are people like you Mary. God Bless You!

Jul. 04 2011 12:57 PM
Jean King from Kerhonkson, NY

Our independence meant subjugation for Native Americans.

Jul. 04 2011 10:39 AM
Ed from Larchmont

President Obama has shown his colors by having his administration file a lawsuit against the Defense of Marriage Act. This one act could cost him the next election, he obviously doesn't think so.

Jul. 04 2011 06:21 AM

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