TeachRock during Black History Month, Part 1: Music as an Agent of Change in the Civil Rights Era

Educators, enrich your Black History Month programs with lesson plans that use music as the entry point for discussions. Engage your students with rich multimedia materials that highlight the achievements of key artists including Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, The Beatles and more. Make connections between the lives and work of such individuals as Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young, and Rosa Parks and the music that inspired change.

The Crossing the Color Line: Music as an Agent of Change During the Civil Rights Era lesson collection encourages your students to explore the role of song in protest as well as music’s capacity to unite seemingly disparate groups of citizens within the context of the Civil Rights movement. Stay tuned for the second and third installments of our Black History Month collections, all of which are available free of charge at TeachRock.org.


The Music of the Civil Rights Movement

How did popular music reflect the values of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and help the movement convey its message?

Music and the Movement: Giving Voice

How did Sixties Soul help give voice to the Civil Rights movement?

The Beat as an Object of Celebration and Concern

How has “the beat” been an object of both celebration and concern in the history of popular music?

Sam Phillips: Producing the Sounds of a Changing South

How did the recordings Sam Phillips produced at Sun Records, including Elvis Presley’s early work, reflect trends of urbanization and integration in the 1950s American South?

The Beatles and American Segregation

How did the Beatles take a stand against segregation while touring America? And what did it mean for popular music culture?

The Memphis Sound: A Case Study of Music and Integration in Mid-Century American

How has Memphis music culture provided one example of art’s capacity to challenge the racial boundaries that have so often structured American life?