Overview

The lessons below explore the integral role music has played in major social justice movements in American history. In two introductory lessons, students examine how “the beat” in American popular music has both brought people together and threatened the status quo, and they discover how musical performance has been used as a way to promote awareness and encourage activism. The collection then details music’s role in specific social justice movements, from the Civil Rights, Anti-War, and Women’s movements in the 1960s to the Black Power and Red Power movements in the early 1970s.The pathway ends with the 2-part lesson Sun City: A Musical Force against Apartheid, which recounts how an international community of musicians helped bring an end to South African Apartheid.