Analysis Of Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come

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Over the course of human history, music has been an integral part of life. Music’s impact can be seen in every facet of the world today and it is a way to express feelings, tell a story, or prove a point. It can bring people together and can transcend communities, cultures, and ideologies. Although many do not realize it, music has had a profound impact on all human lives, and the lives of all others that have since died. Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come’ is a song that defined a generation while bringing the oppression and injustice that African Americans experienced, on a daily basis, to the forefront of society.
Around the same time that Cooke released “A Change is Gonna Come”, America was in harsh turmoil. On the inside of our country, people were still allowing African Americans to be mistreated, just as they were before the abolition of slavery in 1865. Martin Luther King Jr. was making tremendous strides in the progression of the Civil Rights movement, but it could not be him alone fighting for the rights of a whole race. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, which began the “1960s” era for many people. Outside of America, historic events were taking place. The Mariner Spacecraft had just been launched, sending the first man to the moon. The very unpopular Vietnam War was
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Believe it or not, many of Sam’s most avid fans were white people, and Sam was afraid that if he wrote a protest song, he would lose those followers. In the end, Sam wanted to use his fame as a tool to change the world around him. One of his major influences while writing this song was Bob Dylan, another popular protest song writer during that time. Sam Cooke, when asked why Bob Dylan was such an inspiration, said “Why did a white man write a song like this before I did?” He said this because he realized that he should have written a song like this sooner, instead of worrying about his fame and reputation. (NPR Staff,

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