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Singing for Equality

Musicians of the Civil Rights Era

Diane C. Taylor

112 pages
Nomad Press Llc

Skipping Stones 2022 Honors Award Winner!

A collective biography about five musicians and groups at the height of their careers, whose passion and talent influenced the Civil Rights Movement. Part of a new series on the Civil Rights Era for ages 12 to 15 from Nomad Press.

Singing for Equality: Musicians of the Civil Rights Era introduces readers aged 12 to 15 to the history of the Civil Rights Movement and explores the vital role that music played in the tumultuous period of American history of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. As protests, demonstrations, rallies, and new laws characterized the Civil Rights Movement and brought about change to the socially unjust systems of racial and gender oppression, music provided a soundtrack.

The heart of the Civil Rights Movement beats in the music and musicians of the times, whose work was both an inspiration and a reflection of the changes happening in America and to its people. Bob Dylan, Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, and James Brown all epitomized the passion and commitment shown by those involved in the movement, and portrayed the struggles encountered by an entire race of people with gritty beauty and moving calls to action and thought. Their art was not just background music to the Civil Rights Movement. It expressed and recorded for future generations the emotional and political turmoil of the American soul. And today, we’re seeing that the job is still unfinished, as protestors take to the streets and make their voices heard in a call for anti-racism at all levels of society in the Black Lives Matter movement. Who are the civil rights musicians of today?

Hands-on projects and research activities alongside essential questions, links to online resources, and text-to-world connections promote a profound understanding of history and offer opportunities for social-emotional learning.

Singing for Equality: Musicians of the Civil Rights Era is part of a new series from Nomad Press, The Civil Rights Era, that captures the passion and conviction of the 1950s and ‘60s. Other titles in this set include Boycotts, Strikes, and Marches: Protests of the Civil Rights Era; Sitting In, Standing Up: Leaders of the Civil Rights Era; and Changing Laws: Politics of the Civil Rights Era.

Author Bio

Diane C. Taylor is a freelance writer whose published works include both fiction and nonfiction. She is the author of The Science of Natural Disasters: When Nature and Humans Collide; Gutsy Girls Go for Science: Engineers; The Renaissance Thinkers; and The Renaissance Artists. Diane lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.