Freedom Songs: The Music of the Civil Rights Movement
Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV + Sunday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m. on KPBS 2 / Watch now with KPBS Passport!
Filled with many of the greatest artists and musicians from the soul era and beyond, this documentary explores how music helped sustain the most important movement in the 20th century and was in turn inspired by the struggle for equality and human rights. The story is told through performances, interviews, and archival footage, all tied together by the undeniable and emotionally charged link between the movement and the music.
“Freedom Songs: The Music of the Civil Rights Movement” includes interviews with musicians, civil rights activists, music industry executives, historians and others, including music icon Chuck D, actor Louis Gossett Jr., former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, actress Ruby Dee, Pete Seeger, Gladys Knight, Jimmy Carter and the Blind Boys of Alabama, Ruth Brown, Jerry Butler, Isaac Hayes and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) co-founder Dr. Bernard Lafayette.
One of the songs profiled in the documentary is Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” the words of which were paraphrased by President Barack Obama in his victory speech in Grant Park on the night of his election.
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