The Importance of Freedom Songs to the Motivation of African Americans

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According to Kerran L. Sanger, “The success or failure of the civil rights movement depended on the drawing together of African Americans in support of the cause.” This meant that unity is key, and in order for African Americans to gain their rights through the civil rights movement, they needed to work together. One of the most important means of drawing activists who were already part of the movement together as well as recruiting more protesters was through freedom songs. Songs such as “We Shall Overcome,” “Keep Your Eyes one the Prize,” and “Oh Freedom” were important freedom songs that emphasized the importance of unity in order to reach freedom and equality. Freedom songs, during the civil rights movemen, were very important in …show more content…
Freedom songs provided cohesion between African Americans during their struggle for civil rights, and encouraged activists to work together. Hundreds of thousands of African Americans sang songs of freedom and protest during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. The songs of the movement helped unite and strengthen the relationship of African Americans as they went on their journey to seek equality and respect. The importance of working together as a single unit was very prominent in all freedom songs. By singing songs that contain lyrics about unity, people, who might not have joined the movement initially, were encouraged to become a part of the movement and did things they never thought possible. By working as a unit, the protestors felt a sense of security because they way that they were never by themselves; they were always a part of a bigger picture. The song “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” demonstrated the method of transforming a song to fit the circumstances of the time. The lyrics of this song were changed from being about the chains of slavery to a more positive message about a chain of people working together. It is true that a "chain is only as strong as is its weakest link," therefore if one member of the movement was weak, the whole system would have collapsed. "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" used the metaphor of all the activists coming together to form a chain of unity. In order for this chain

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