Civil Rights Era Protest Songs

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  • Gil Scott Heron
  • John Coltrane
  • The Staple Singers
  • Grant Green
  • Billie Holiday
  • Bob Dylan
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Sam Cooke
  • Nina Simone
  • Otis Redding
  • Aretha Franklin
  • James Brown
  • Marvin Gaye

The Staple Singers – "Long Walk to D.C." (1968)

Many songs from the civil rights era were inspired and produced by gospel music and artists. The Chicago-bred gospel and R&B group The Staples Singers recorded "Long Walk to D.C.," their tribute to Martin Luther King's 1963 March on Washington, in 1968.

(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) 


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