11 Songs That Became Anthems for the African American Struggle for Equality

For centuries, black Americans have used music as a powerful tool. In the pre-war South, slaves sang spirituals to secretly plan their escape to freedom. Poems were set to music and performed to celebrate the eradication of slavery, and ballads and hip hop were used to protest violence and discrimination against black Americans.

Below are 11 songs throughout history that have given voice to African American progress, protest and pride.

1. “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” – Unknown

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