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Forms Of Protest In The Civil Rights Movement

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Throughout American history, people have protested to create change in the time and circumstances in which they live. At the heart of every protest are grievances, such as experience of illegitimate inequality, feelings of relative deprivation, feelings of injustice, moral indignation about some state of affairs, or a suddenly imposed grievance (Stekelenburg). Whatever the reason, protests have been an important and present part of American society for many years. There are multiple ways in which people protest. People use books, magazines, and social media as forms of protest. Music is among the most important mediums, for the majority of society listens to and enjoys it. Songwriters and celebrities, tending to have an elevated presence in society, draw attention to subjects they believe should be spoken about in order to create change. Over the years, song artists have used their platform to show their objection to racial discrimination, war, and intolerance towards specific groups of people. Racial discrimination is one of the strongest topics that songwriters have written about. In 1939, before the Civil Rights Movement, Billie Holiday recorded “Strange Fruit,” a song originally written as a poem by a teacher named Abel…show more content…
Marvin Gaye envisioned and wrote a "concept album," which included songs told from a Vietnam war veteran's point of view after he'd come home to America, where he saw that serving his country hadn't helped improve injustice, poverty, suffering, or crime (Pinkey). The powerful lyrics from “What’s Going On” describe the cruelty and pain of the war: “Mother, mother there's too many of you crying. Brother, brother, brother, there's far too many of you dying. You know we've got to find a way to bring some loving here today” (Gaye). Overall, "What's Going On" was a song to discourage hostility and the cruelties of the Vietnam
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