5 Powerful Songs About The Civil Rights Movement

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There are some songs that hit you so hard because the lyrics are so truthful about what’s going on in the world. I’ve chosen these five songs that really “woke” me up to the things that are happening in the U.S. and the things that are happening to other human beings that are completely unjust. These are 5 songs that everyone should listen to and highly consider the lyrics. The lyrics are impossible to ignore which make the issues impossible to ignore. These 5 songs are a testament to the oppression that people are still facing today. Hopefully these 5 songs will inspire people to wake up and rise up and start standing up for justice and equality.

Glory by Common, John Legend from the movie Selma
Most powerful lyric:
“That’s why Rosa sat on the bus
That’s why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up”

American Skin (41 Shots) by Bruce Spingsteen
Most powerful lyric:
“Lena gets her son ready for school
She says now on these streets Charles
You got to understand the rules
Promise me if an officer stops you’ll always be polite
Never ever run away and promise mama you’ll keep your hands in sight”

What’s Going On by Marvin Gay
Most powerful lyric:
“For only love can conquer hate”

White Privilege II – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Jamila Woods
Most powerful lyric:
“Are you marching for freedom, or when it’s convenient?”

Trapped by 2Pac
Most powerful lyric:
“Can barely walk the city streets
Without a cop harassing me, searching me
Then asking my identity
Hands up, throw me up against the wall
Didn’t do a thing at all”


Written by Ryan Cassata (originally posted on FTM Magazine)

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