The Movement is in the Music

Explore the Video Slider below for other impact songs that provided the soundtrack for the Civil Rights Movement

Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit"

“Strange Fruit” is a metaphoric song originally written by Abel Meeropol in 1937. The song protests the lynching of Black Americans.

Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come"

“A Change is Gonna Come” was released in 1964, and was Cooke’s response to his experience of racism. It was featured on his album,  Ain’t That Good News.

Nina Simone's "Mississippi Goddam"

“Mississippi Goddam” was written by Nina Simone in response to the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi, and was released in 1964.

We Shall Overcome

While “We Shall Overcome” does not have a clear author or origin, it was an often sung Civil Rights Era Anthem. This is famous gospel singer Mahalia Jackson’s rendition of the song. 


[1] Graham, Casey. “SNCC Freedom Singers (1962-1966). BlackPast, 1 Feb. 2019,