The Social Movements Of The Civil Rights Movement

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Social movements can be defined as a grouping of individuals or organizations which focus on political and social issues. Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, drafted and passed the Emancipation Proclamation which changed the federal legal status of more than 3 million slaves in the south from “slave” to “free, which was monumental for the African-American people. Fast forward about a century later racism was alive and well and prosed an issue for the social justice of African-Americans. The 1960’s were a very tough time for African-Americans socially because of how segregated America was in the 1960’s. African-Americans were fed up with the segregation of America and decided it was time to make a change for their cause. African-Americans had many platforms …show more content…
They solidified their movement with songs which means that is was a tactic used to unite followers, to create a sense of community and cohesiveness among its members/followers. The purpose of using songs to solidify a movement is primarily to energize an audience, reaffirm commitment to the cause, self persuasion, and helps sustain a movement. In this paper I will analyze “Oh, Freedom” – Aaron Neville, “Strange Fruit” – Billy Holliday, and “A Change is Gonna Come” – Sam Cooke to show how the movement was solidified and progressed the civil rights movement to then aid in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and represent an effective example of social movement rhetoric. The songs that I am choosing to analyze provided great evidence and great rhetorical value that helped the civil rights movement progress and aided in the solidification of the …show more content…
In Aaron Cook’s “A Change is Gonna Come” he focuses primarily on United/together V. Separate/Divided which is highlighting one’s unity and togetherness and the oppositions division and separateness. The line “Then I go to my brother and say brother help me please but he winds up knockin’ me Back on my knees…” is showing that his “brothers” which refers to the citizens in America in this time period. Sam Cooke is saying that when he pleads for help that his “brother” is “knockin” him back down not allowing him and his people to prosper. This also shows how the oppression of African-Americans is greatly affecting him and his

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