Influence of Martin Luther King on Music

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Influence of Martin Luther King on Music

By | May 2012
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Introduction

The purpose of this research is to explore the influences Martin Luther King Jr. had African American music. “We shall overcome” was one of many anthems of the Civil Rights Movement. It was mostly sung during the rallies and the sit-ins that were held. The music of the Civil Rights Movement was a unifying force between African Americans and Caucasian Americans who believed in equality between all races. The music represented a sense of hope that change may one day come, that civil liberty and the American dream would be extended to all people. Prior to the Civil Rights Movement Caucasian Americans believed that African Americans were inferior and did not deserve the same rights as whites. This led to African Americans actually believing that they were inferior to Caucasians, leaving them hopeless and not feeling that they deserved the same rights and treatments. Based on our literature the problem dealt with white supremacy and blacks struggle for their rights. Some examples would be The Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the NAACP. The Montgomery Bus Boycott involved Blacks boycotting the busses. Those who boycotted and were commuters walked to work, some as far as twenty miles. This boycott lasted for 382 days resulting in a financial lost to the bus companies. The Montgomery bus boycott finally ended when the bus segregation law was replaced. The NAACP stood for The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; was formed to promote equal rights of all people and tried to eliminate discrimination. Because segregation was so intense in the south Blacks found it prudent to do sit-ins, non-violent protests, and riding in “white only” buses. They were starting to demand their rights which led to their fight for equality. While trying to voice their opinions through those protests they began to use the art of music to help spread their word faster. They wanted to create and promote black pride and dignity. Once whites...
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