MUSIC IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
by Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons
I cannot imagine the Civil Rights Movement without the music we produced as we marched, sat in or were jailed. The music was the articulate voice of the masses of the people.
The music of black spirituals emerged for the suffering of African slaves in America. But how did it infuse the spirit of non-violence in the historic Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, that broke the back of institutionalize racism in the South? The scholar Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons offers a moving answer, weaving together history and music with her own personal experience as a foot-soldier for freedom in the crusade led by Dr. Martin Luther King.
(Painting by Anita Philyaw, anitaphilyaw.com)