The most familiar images of the civil rights era (1955-68) are of the political

The most familiar images of the civil rights era (1955-68) are of the political and legal protests occurring throughout the nation. While you may be familiar with historic images of the legal battles in the nation’s courts and of public demonstrations, the cause was furthered by other forms of cultural expression. Throughout our history, political and social struggles were accompanied by the music of popular culture. In the example of the civil rights movement, participants often blended the political with the artistic, and musicians and artists played active roles in spreading the message of leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and artists like Sam Cooke.
In the spring of 1961, college students challenged the existing segregation laws in the American South with an assertive yet non-violent strategy. Four hundred black and white students associated with CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) and SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) planned to ride Greyhound buses through Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, Virginia, and other states to protest illegal segregation in the South. The Freedom Riders employed freedom songs and spirituals as a crucial aspect to their non-violent protest of racial inequality.
American musicians have long used their craft as a means to disseminate ideas, challenge precedents, and call people to action. Thus, song offers unique insight into the meaning behind the spirit of the civil rights movement. Of course, not all music of the early 1960s dwelled upon the political and civil rights demands of black Americans, yet many popular songs of that period delve deep into many issues concerning freedom and equality in our national conversation. “We Shall Overcome,” “Get Your Rights Jack,” and “A Change is Gonna Come” reflect both the hope and frustration behind the movement’s struggles throughout the 1960s. Between President Kennedy’s reluctance to support legal civil rights to the tumultuous protests against the Vietnam War, music served as an outlet and source of courage for many involved.
Papers must be Times Roman, 12 point type, double spaced, and a minimum 3 full pages. Citations (MLA and Chicago are acceptable) must be provided for any referenced materials. Points will be deducted for not meeting these requirements.write a 2-3 page essay examining 2 songs from the 1960s. What are connections between the songs and the civil rights movement? Does the song refer to a specific incident or goal? What message does the musician wish to convey? How effect were the songs in conveying that message? Finish your paper by comparing it to a protest song of the past two decades. You should be able to find some quite easily with a Google search. What are the similarities and differences in the songs’ messages and how they are expressed?

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