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Top Ten Civil Rights Songs | The Nation

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Peter Rothberg

Peter Rothberg

Opposing war, racism, sexism, climate change, economic injustice and high-stakes testing.

Top Ten Civil Rights Songs

In honor of today's national holiday marking the birth of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., I embarked on the impossible task of selecting a top ten list of songs about civil rights. The theme has resonated deeply with generations of artists of all stripes and inspired considerable musical tribute; this list is meant simply as a starting point for discussion (and listening!) Please use the comments field below to let me what I missed.

In Fairly Random Order:

1. Mavis Staples, We Shall Not Be Moved

2 The Impressions, People Get Ready

3. Sam Cooke, A Change is Gonna Come

5. Phil Ochs, Here's to the State of Mississippi

6. Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A Changin'

7. Sweet Honey in the Rock, Eyes on the Prize

8. Gil Scott-Heron, 95 South (All of the Places We've Been)

9. The Roots, Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round

10. The Staple Singers, Freedom Highway

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