Institute for Inclusion and Equity

Music of the Civil Rights Era

Relive some of the emotions carried by this music in this participatory event—and come prepared to sing.

Music of the 1960’s was an integral part of both the civil rights and the anti-war movements. With the leadership of black clergy such as Dr. King, the inclusion of spirituals during protest gatherings was expected. But the folk music revival of the 1950’s and 1960’s, coupled with protests against the Vietnam War and the draft brought partnerships between singers and songwriters from both black (e.g. Odetta) and white (e.g. Pete Seeger) traditions, with group singing in protest marches (“We Shall Overcome”) and hit songs on popular radio (“Abraham, Martin and John”). Relive some of the emotions carried by this music in this participatory event—and come prepared to sing.