Music Played Key Role In Us Civil Rights Movement

3714 words - 15 pages

Music was used as a critical instrument in the early 20th century in mobilizing and inspiring the civil rights movement by giving them more voice to bring out their grievances. According to Kerk (2007, p.18) Martin Luther king was the most prolific figure who utilized music to sensitize society, “we believe that freedom songs play a big and vital part in the struggle that we are going through” this words were also echoed by the Albany movement “music keeps us a live, it gives us a sense of unity, new courage every dawn, hope to move on that the future still holds something in our most daring and dreadful hours”

Development of Music
The 20th century was a century which United States had great influence in the world of music across the globe. America was the birth place of most influential music, from jazz to rock which was promoted by the q7uality of technology like radio and phonographs. Advanced technology ensured fast distribution of music to Americans and all-round the globe. 20th century also brought African Americans and their music culture which was more practiced by slaves. However, even before the African American s came into music, blues music was already evolving leading to development of other genres like country music, jazz to rock and classical music.
Soul music came up as a result of rock and roll from the African American gospel, rhythm and blues. As the century grew bands were created like the bubblegum pop band comprised of blacks who created new fusion of R&B and hip hop music that is still embraced till now. Rap music evolved from the Blues, rap music was made up of deep rhythms and autobiographical lyrics. Music nurtured the African American tradition and their struggle towards equality the same century.

Political impact of music
The civil Rights Movement was one of the historical events in U.S history. These were movements that dwelled on peace to voice out their grievances; there was no force or aggression. Their main objective was to collectively champion for no segregation and injustices on racial grounds. They used songs as a weapon in their hearts and marched through the hardest of all time scenarios with confidence. Although harmless they faced the wrath of being beaten, burning, hosing and even jail terms. Undeterred by mistreatment, they sang hymns that gave them courage and strength to continue with the struggle, these song would uplift those who were about to give up on the fight towards equality and sensitize others to join by their bravery to push forward for fundamental changes through songs (Kirk, 2007).

Music evolved during the struggle of freedom by the black which shows the revolution of the movement till now. Civil rights activists sing the freedom songs today as it was sang earlier by the slaves with the same reasons. The slaves sang them when in bondage to give them a sense of hope and determination that they will overcome no matter the race as it is today. “we shall overcome,” a...

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