A Folk Legend: Bob Dylan Essay

1287 words - 6 pages

“The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind the answer is blowin' in the wind.” These famous lyrics are what gave the Civil Rights Movement support through a music stand point. Bob Dylan helped with the progression of the civil rights movements through many different ways. He wrote songs about deaths of public figures and strikes during the civil rights movement, and he stood as a public figure in support of it.
Bob Dylan was born on May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. He was born with the name Robert Allen Zimmerman and later acquired the pseudonym Bob Dylan while performing folk songs in local coffee shops on his University of Minnesota campus.(Bio) He was asked for his name by the Ten O’Clock Scholar coffee shops owner David Lee and he frantically said Bob Dylan. Dylan said that when asked he came up with it on the spot. There are many different rumors of how he came up with it such as it being a relatives name or a character from one of his favorite TV shows. Shortly after playing in the coffee shops he was approached by Columbia Records to with a record deal to make an album. He accepted it and in a year he released his self-titled album (Bob Dylan) in March 1962.(Heylin) His girlfriend at the time Suze Rotolo, an artist and civil rights activist, was who inspired him to write the protest songs.(Audie Cornish) In 1962 Bob began his association with the civil rights movement while singing at benefit concerts. He started writing songs about the movement from then on. In the summer of 1963 Bob first handily experienced segregation in Mississippi at a civil rights concert. (Christopher Edwards)
Dylan’s first song about the Civil Rights Movement song was named “Only A Pawn In Their Game”. This song was written about the brutal death of Medgar Evers. Medgar Evers was killed outside of his home in Jackson, Mississippi on June 12th 1963. He was a field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Mississippi. Dylan said that murder was a product of the social system of the south and all of the racism that it is filled with. (Edwards) Jack Doyle Wrote:
On June 12, 1963, just past midnight, Evers drove up to his Jackson home, parking under the car port, the kitchen door to his house a short distance away. Evers that night had attended a group meeting at New Jerusalem Baptist Church, while his wife Myrlie and his children watched President Kennedy’s televised speech – a speech that focused on the racial tensions in Birmingham, Alabama, where violent clashes between protestors and police had been going on for the past two months. As Evers got out of his car, he grabbed a bundle of T-shirts that were to be handed out the next morning to civil rights demonstrators. He only took a few steps away from his car toward the kitchen door when he was shot in back. The bullet tore through his body and went into the house where his wife Myrlie and their three children were. “Medgar was lying there on the...

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