Jews, Music, and the Civil Rights Movement
Music has tremendous power to inspire and bring people together—in both good times and challenging ones. In preparation for Black History Month and Martin Luther King Day, we learned about the role that music plays in inspiring activism and building community. We also discussed how music helped bring together the many diverse groups involved in the Civil Rights Movement. The session also included a brief crash course in protest song writing from Henry Neuwirth, Community Organizer at the Merrimack Valley Project.
View the recording to find out how music was used during the Civil Rights Movement and to watch model activities.
Session Materials and Handouts
- PowerPoint Presentation
- Chat Log
- Listen to This Little Light of Mine
- Letter to Jon from Heather Tobis Booth
- Lino Board
- “Sing a New Song: Jews, Music, and the Civil Rights Movement”, three lesson plans from Go & Learn
- “Community Organizing I: Freedom Summer” lesson plan from the Living the Legacy curriculum
Related Resources from the Jewish Women’s Archive
Music and the Civil Rights Movement Elsewhere on the Web
- Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 1997.
- “Songs of the Civil Rights Movement.” The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
- “American Experience: Eyes on the Prize—Music in the Civil Rights Movement.” PBS. 2006.
- “In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement.” The White House. 2010.
- “A White House Concert with Bob Dylan, Jennifer Hudson and More.” National Public Radio. 2010.
- Let Freedom Sing: How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement. DVD. 2009.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Jews, Music, and the Civil Rights Movement." (Viewed on December 6, 2023) <https://jwa.org/teach/profdev/webinars/2014/music>.