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Protest & Reform - Protest Songs From the Civil Rights Movement - Essay Example

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While influential people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X roused audiences through eloquent speeches (The Ballot, 2000), religious congregations were vying for support through altering the words…
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Protest & Reform - Protest Songs From the Civil Rights Movement
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Download file to see previous pages One person might start humming a tune and ultimately those who heard it would join in, spreading the music across the multitude of people gathered.
The leaders of the Civil Rights Movement inspired many of the lyrics used in the existing gospel songs. King found many of his words from the speeches he had delivered incorporated into the music. When King explained to a group of individuals that he had woke that morning with freedom on his mind, he was later quoted in a gospel song that had been altered to reflect his comments. The message that he had delivered during his speech had been set to music and circulated throughout the communities. King’s oration “I Have A Dream” (Dlugan, 2009) may have been the inspiration for other songs that promoted the message of freedom.
The songs that were used in the Civil Rights Movement stem from Negro Gospel Music. Tunes were jazzed up and lyrics were changed to accommodate the situation. By changing a few words to well-known songs, everyone could participate in a congregational setting and sing in unison at any event. While all of the songs are still sung in worship services across the United States, some of the Civil Rights lyrics have made it into Choral groups and been performed for various audiences by both children and adult groups. The following list of songs were frequently sung during the Civil Rights Era:
The number of songs used during the Civil Rights Movement were not limited to just these titles. Many other songs were created to capture the attention of the media, promote unity, and create a cohesion between all individuals supporting the Civil Rights Movement. Depending on the situation or event, the song chosen was often determined by an individual in the congregation. One such event found all the prisoners at a jail singing “Hold On” and they were joined by others who heard and recognized the music. The lyrics to several of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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