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Music Of The Civil Rights Era: Bob Dylan

1495 words - 6 pages

Music has always inspired people to think for themselves and find meanings within deep and confusing lyrics, giving them new perspective. Back during the times when the fight for civil rights was in full swing, music played an even bigger role. Some musicians used personal experience as inspiration for their work; it made their songs more relatable to the listeners and added a bit of personality to the music. The songs they wrote stimulated people to gather together and demand change. The bravery of the artists who spoke out against the way the country was headed allowed them to create these songs and get people together.
One artist that was extremely influential in the time of crisis was Bob Dylan. He was born on May 24, 1941 as Robert Allen Zimmerman. When he began to perform in college, he adopted the stage name that he is known for today, Bob Dylan. He got his last name from the poet Dylan Thomas, who was one of his major motivations along with Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie. He wrote songs about real occurrences like his song, “Hurricane” which was about the renowned African American boxer Rubin Carter, who was wrongly accused of murder even though he was all the way across town at the time the murder took place. Throughout his musical career, he was awarded an abundance of awards for his lyrics and song writing that inspired and moved many struggling people all across the troubled country.
Another artist who was tremendously influential during this era was Joan Baez. She produced folk music which happened to be very popular during this time period. She is also famous for popularizing the work of Bob Dylan. She was born on January 9, 1941 in Staten Island, New York. She became interested in the folk genre of music two years prior to her family moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts. She often performed with Bob Dylan and they would sing songs about civil rights and peace together on stage. One of her most famous performances was during the march on Washington, where she played the song, “We Shall Overcome”. Later on in her career, she became a very avid activist by refusing to pay taxes and even going so far as to blocking an armed forces induction center in Oakland, California which ended up getting her arrested. Just like with Bob Dylan, it is evident that Joan Baez had a very vital role in the civil rights era.
James Brown was also a musician of the civil rights era who has been dubbed, “The Godfather of Soul”. James Brown’s main emphasis was black pride which inspired many oppressed individuals to no longer be ashamed of their race or their cultural backgrounds. He had a plethora of honors and awards attached to his name which makes him an tremendously influential man. James had lived through more complications than most people can claim to have gone through, which would become a huge inspiration in both his music and the people who had been oppressed. Along with these other artists, James Brown is an extremely influential person who...

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