As our nation observes another Martin Luther King Junior holiday, I think it’s important to recognize the roll that music played in advancing the civil rights cause championed by Dr. King prior to his murder April 4th 1968.
With far fewer radio choices back then, white kids like me were exposed to popular songs that turned into anthems of the struggle for racial equality.
From “People Get Ready” by Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, to “Blowin’ In The Wind” and “The Times They Are A Changin'” penned and recorded by Bob Dylan, the racial inequality which was too long a part of our culture was brought home to us in a way more powerful than any speech.
Music helped Americans get through a turbulent decade that saw a President, a Presidential Candidate, and Dr. King get assassinated.
I think the music did a lot to help us recognize the idiocy of making judgement’s solely on the color of another’s skin, and I hope helped to bring us closer to the color-blind society that Dr. King envisioned.
That’s the way I see it.