Civil Rights

Singing For Freedom, mid 1960s
Photographer: Ken Thompson

As the Movement spread from city to city and moved through time, freedom songs emerged to fit every situation and to sustain its participants through increasingly dangerous confrontations.

We helped organize a series of workshops to bring together the songleaders and singers of the Movement to share their songs.

We also collected the growing repertoire on albums and in two songbooks.

Confrontation with Police
Greenwood, Alabama, 1965
Photographer: Bob Fitch

Freedom School
Mississippi, 1964
Photographer: Ken Thompson

Not only were the freedom songs important in sustaining the Movement in the South, they were heard across the country and helped tell the story of what was happening which would eventually change the country.

The SNCC Freedom Singers, Rutha Harris, Cordell Reagon, Bernice Johnson Reagon and Chuck Neblett traveled the country singing on college campuses, in churches and community centers, raising funds and awareness.



We Shall Overcome:
Singing After a Church Bombing
Mississippi, early 1960s
Photographer: Danny Lyon

The SNCC Freedom Singers
w/ the Carawans
Newport, Rhode Island, 1963
Photographer: Jim Marshall

Many of the freedom songs were adapted for other movements and are still heard today.

Civil Rights : Page 3 of 3

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