“Sing America”

Cue the O’Jays melodic hit, “I Love Music.” I’m sure you’ve gathered from previous posts of mine that I am a lover of music. You will catch me dancing to a playlist with songs ranging from Prince to New Edition. I’ve always been drawn to great music, no matter the genre. From the electrifying beats to captivating lyrics, the combination of those two elements will send me careening down the path of nostalgia and into musical captivity. Music is powerful. While it can act as an escape on one hand, it can also help create an awareness that you’d otherwise remain blinded to in your day-to-day.

For years, black Americans have used music as a tool to give a voice to the cries of the oppressed—sometimes with in-you-face, heart-wrenching lyrics, and at other times more subtly disguised within thumping basslines and rocking guitar strums. This Black History Month, I encourage you to take a voyage through the land of black music.

I’ve compiled a list of songs from black artists, which range from issues of social injustice to the calls for unity. Allow yourself to become really engulfed in the music. Listen to the hearts of the artists. Discover their messages. Join along in their passion. Familiarize yourself with their pain.

Some of these songs are quite heavy, but the history of Black Americans is quite heavy. When we begin to learn this history and understand the journey of our neighbor, then we will be able to join together in harmony. Go ahead. Sing America.

 

  • A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke
  • Ball of Confusion by the Temptations
  • Brotha by Angie Stone
  • Can You Feel It by the Jacksons
  • Facts by Lecrae
  • Forward by K. Michelle
  • Four Women by Nina Simone
  • Free Your Mind by En Vogue
  • Glory by John Legend ft. Common
  • Hood Villains by Dee-1
  • I Can by Nas
  • I’m Black and I’m Proud by James Brown
  • Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler) by marvin Gaye
  • It’s Time by the Winans
  • Lift Every Voice and Sing by J. Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson
  • Living for the City by Stevie Wonder
  • Love Train by the O’Jays
  • Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson
  • On My Own by Lecrae
  • Rhythm Nation by Janet Jackson
  • Scream by Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson
  • Stand by Trey Songz
  • Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday
  • The Knowledge by Janet Jackson
  • They Don’t Really Care About Us by Michael Jackson
  • Think by Aretha Franklin
  • To Be Young, Gifted, and Black by Nina Simone
  • U Will Know– Black Men United
  • Wake Up Everybody by Harold Melvin & the Blue
  • We Are the World by U.S.A. for Africa (Michael Jackson)
  • What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye

(This list is not all inclusive. Go discover the world of music!)

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