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Freedom Riders: 1960s

This guide was created to tie in with the visiting exhibit from the Gilder Lehrman Institute, Freedom Riders.

Digital History

Sixties Book Titles

WWW.VL: History : United States 1960-1969

Soundtrack for a Revolution

"Soundtrack for a Revolution tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music -- the freedom songs that protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in police wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality".  (PBS American Experience)

   Lyrics of the Freedom Songs


Rock and Roll : An American Story

Songs of the Civil Rights Movement

These are jazz and jazz/blues versions of some of the songs that sustained the civil-rights movement in the 1960s (and beyond) through the setbacks, the hardships, the failures and the many hard-won successes that have moved America ever closer to racial equality. 

In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther Jr. delivered the opening address to the Berlin Jazz Festival.

"Jazz speaks for life," King said. "The blues tell the story of life's difficulties — and, if you think for a moment, you realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music."   NPR:Songs of the Civil Rights Movement - Jazz sampler