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Music

  • Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian by Johnny Cash
    The eight songs on 1964’s Bitter Tears are sung from the point of view of the American Indian (still the accepted term in 1964), and together they form a potent work that is both deeply real and highly spiritual.
  • Strange Fruit, racially charged protest song sung by Billie Holiday and declared by 1999 Time Magazine as “the song of the century.” The Guardian called Holiday’s 1939 song about racist lynchings the first great protest song. It stunned audiences and redefined popular music. In 1999, Time magazine voted Strange Fruit the Song of the Century. (Recording of the song by Nina Simone is available on YouTube)
  • Ray Charles America the Beautiful Tribute
    Tribute to African American soldiers, men and women, from the Revolutionary War to the present conflict that rings today, with photos.
  • “Lift Every Voice and Sing” – often referred to as the “Black national anthem” in the United States – is a hymn written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) in 1900 and set to music by his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson (1873–1954), for the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in 1905.
  • The Death of Emmett Till, by Bob Dylan
  • Mississippi Goddam by Nina Simone, first performed in 1964, her first civil rights song and one of her most famous protest songs
  • To Be Young, Gifted and Black by Nina Simone. The song was featured on her 1970 album Black Gold and was considered an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement.