In the book “The Art of Protest” the writer T.V. Reed show us how important was music in the development of the civil rights movement because music was a tool of unity, communication, participation and also helped to spread the idea of equality and respect that many African Americans required from the United States of America. For that reason in many social movements music has been very important in the expansion of ideas, ideals, morals, dreams, social standards, etc.
For example during the 60s music and protest get together and create a significant effect on some of the music that was produced. I believe that certain music and musical events derived from people’s feelings and views about the American society that occurred during the 50s and 60’s. Some of these events include the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, Women Liberation Movement, and society as a whole.
The 60’s was one of the most controversial decades in American history because Vietnam War and the racial tensions in the south, also there was an outbreak of protests involving civil and social conditions all across college campuses. These protests have been taken to the extent where people either have died or have been seriously injured. However, during the 1960’s, America saw a popular form of art known as protest music, which responded to the social confusion of that era, from the civil rights movement to the war in Vietnam. A authentic generation of musicians, such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan sang their songs to encourage union organizers to protest the inequities of their time, creating a diverse variety of popular protest music, which has reached out to the youthful generations everywhere demanding for a revolutionary change. The protest music took the children of the 1960’s to a completely new different level. Musicians of this generation were not going to sit and do nothing while the government lied to the people about what was going on in Vietnam and the south . Instead they started to use art as a form of protest, expression, unity and equality and they became and important part of the public opinion about many social issues in that time.
In contrast the current political music movements are very weak first because in our current times there is not a solid and strong social movement and also because the Media is extremely powerful so any movement that is growing is put on the market like any item. Of course we have exceptions and we still have bands like Rage Against the Machine and like many protest artist in the past RATM music contains the political and social views of the band members. They are very passionate about defending constitutional rights of the individual and large groups of deprived people. The members of Rage Against the Machine each bring diversity and strong political views into the music they produce. Each member is unique in his childhood background and his introduction to music. It is
Important to understand their backgrounds to fully understand their
Passion for political justice. But in general the current youth generation of Americans is easily manipulate by the Media (Government) and they listen the music that is design for their specific social environment and they never notice that they are part of the game of the stratification of music and people.
In conclusion music is a strong tool of social communication and participation for that reason was use in the 50s and 60s to protest and explain the social movements of that time. but later the same ideas and a lot of the musician became part of the new order of fashion music that we have today.