African American and Civil Rights Musical Heritage

Broadcasting on our new time slot, Fridays at 4:00, we’re honoring African Americans and the struggles for civil rights. Some of America’s most inspiring music came from this movement. We’re pleased to share some original versions and some covers. These songs are still used today, and, sadly, are still needed.

March on Washington, Aug. 28, 1963

It’s the 200th anniversary of the AME Church, and the US Postal Service just issued a stamp honoring its founder, Richard Allen. It’s also the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party in October.

What did you learn in school about African American history and the Civil Rights Movement? Likely, it was incomplete and slanted. Talk to people who lived through it while you still can, hear their stories. Maybe learn one of these songs and play it for them.

  1. Freedom Highway by The Staple Singers on Freedom Highway, 1965
  2. 99 1/2 by Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir on Live in New York By Any Means… 1995
  3. We Shall Overcome by Mavis Staples on We’ll Never Turn Back, 2007
  4. Aint Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around by The Roots on Soundtrack for a Revolution, 2009
  5. Eyes on the Prize (Hold On) by Sweet Honey in the Rock on Freedom Song Original Soundtrack, 2000
  6. I Shall Not be Moved by Mississippi John Hurt on The Best Of… 1971
  7. This Little light of Mine by Odetta on Gonna Let It Shine, 2005
  8. Lift Every Voice by Committed, available on YouTube, posted in February 2015
  9. A Change is Gonna Come by Al Green, recorded at the United We Stand benefit concert in 2001
  10. Mississippi Goddamn by Nina Simone on In Concert, 1964
  11. The Times They Are a Changin’ by Tracy Chapman on 30th Anniversary Celebration (Bob Dylan) 2014
  12. Here’s to the State of Mississippi by Phil Ochs on I Ain’t Marching Anymore, 1965
  13. People Get Ready by George Benson on Goodies, 1968

Black Lives Matter



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