|Brothers James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamund Johnson published the Books of American Negro Spirituals, songs collected from former slaves. It is due to their efforts that many spirituals continued to be sung throughout the Twentieth Century. They also composed the words and music for "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," a hymn that became known as the "Negro National Anthem." Although the words originally commemmorated the memory of Abraham Lincoln, they took on new meaning as African-Americans marched for their freedom in the 1950s and 1960s:|
|Themes from the civil rights movement permeated the popular song culture of the 1960s. One famous song was "A Change is Gonna Come," an anthem of hope composed and sung by Sam Cooke. The song ends with the words, "It's been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come." Several singers have covered the song in the years since the original 1964 release. |
In addition to the books and scores (songbooks) above, check out CDs of Civil Rights music from the Music Collection.