Music In The Civil Rights Movement

560 Words3 Pages
The civil rights movement is one one of the greatest social justice movements in American history. Throughout countless marches, speeches, rallies, African Americans were able to unite all races to protest for the equal rights of all individuals.Through these countless times, music was often relied upon to peace and uplift spirits. To manage, civil rights groups relied heavily on music, so much that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in “Why can’t we wait” that music was “the soul of the movement”. During long protests, individuals in both courtyards or jail cells would rely on singing and humming to keep the peace and energy among the crowd. Singing was also a huge part of opening and closing ceremonies, as vocalness helped relieve anxiety…show more content…
With that expansion, music started provided financial support with musicians organizing concerts to promote causes and raise money for the movement. Some of the leaders of music in the civil rights movement included Odetta, who was considered the voice of the civil rights movement known for her song “Oh, Freedom” that she sang at the 1963 march in Washington. Nina Simone, a prominent singer from Tryon, North Carolina, often included civil rights messages in her performances and was a key figure at the Selma to Montgomery marches. Nina was known for her song “Mississippi Goddam” which was inspired by a church bombing in Mississippi that killed civil rights activist Medgar…show more content…
When you think about Civil rights movement music the first things that comes to people’s minds is “We shall overcome”. It was known as the face of the movement. It is not a marching song. It is not necessarily defiant. It is a promise: "We shall overcome someday. Deep in my heart, I do believe". The first political use came in 1945 in Charleston, S.C. There was a strike against the American Tobacco Co. The workers wanted a raise; they were making 45 cents an hour. They marched and sang together on the picket line, "We will overcome, and we will win our rights someday”. Freedom songs were a way of life during the Civil Rights Movement. The songs contained many meanings for all participants. Songs could embody sadness, happiness, joy, or determination among many other feelings. People depended on music to keep them going. It’s what kept the movement
Open Document