Songs of protest and freedom played such a vital role in bolstering morale and giving voice to the civil rights movement that Martin Luther King Jr. referred to them as the “soul of the movement.”

During the Albany Movement, King said, “The songs are playing a strong and vital role in our struggle. They give the people new courage and a sense of unity. I think they keep alive a faith, a radiant hope, in the future, particularly in our most trying hours.”

In honor of the upcoming workshop, Healing Power: An Introduction to a Vocal Community with Ysaye Barnwell, which explores the historical, social and political context of African American music, we’ve put together a playlist of Songs from the Civil Rights Movement.

You can listen here.

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