With February and March being two months dedicated to our history (black people and women), a lot of us find ourselves in the position where we are both celebrating our pasts and finding ways that we can improve our futures. For some that looks like volunteering in our communities, for others it might look like activism on a topic close to our hearts. As you prepare to stand up, speak out, and get a little political, there is nothing better than listening to some music to spark that activist fire inside. From the civil rights movement to climate change, music and artists have impacted our world by influencing change and using their talents to inspire us to push society forward. Now it’s our turn. Here are some classic protest tracks to add to your playlist:
- What’s Going On? By Marvin Gaye. – a timeless classic written by Obie Benson whose witness of police brutality during an anti-war protest inspired the track. With police brutality occurring today, the song is quite fitting.
- We Are The World by USA (United Support of Artists) for Africa- Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, and Quincy Jones banded together to write a song about the poverty in Africa to inspire donations for the non-profit organization. The song was remade back in 2010 to fundraise money for Haiti after their devastating earthquake.
- Dreamer by Prince– A heavy hitter with some killer guitar riffs is this track by Prince. This song re-emphasizes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech. With race being a hot issue today, it is sad we have still fight to be treated right.
- Earth Song by Michael Jackson– While this song is not precisely about climate change, Michael Jackson was an activist who spoke on just about anything unjust including the destruction of our environment and the animals who suffer because of man’s apathy towards it. If you are somebody who’s an environmentalist, this song is key to your playlist.
- Freedom by Kendrick Lamar & Beyonce– This is a must have. Though the song is a track for the black lives matter movement, I’m sure many other ethnic groups who feel marginalized today can relate to this song on some accord. Highly recommend you watch Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar’s BET performance of this track. It’s simply powerful.
What other songs are on your protest playlist? Let us know below!