Music Influence on the Civil Rights Movement

1034 Words5 Pages
Outline for U.S. History

A. Worrall

Mrs. Stepp

3rd Period


Question: How did music influence/effect the Civil Rights Movement?

i. During the Civil Rights era, African Americans changed the way people looked at music by ending the segregation in the music world and by making a well-known “soundtrack” and influence during the Civil Rights Movement.

ii. Topic Sentence: While music was an impact on the Civil Rights Movement, Motown Records is what gave Blacks the confidence to succeed in the only voice they had.

a. Motown Records was founded in 1959 by Berry Gordy who turned his music production company into history’s most successful black-owned record label company.

i. Black people were disenfranchised and to make it in the industry, they turned to music.

ii. Motown records became the musical inspiration and essence of the Civil Rights Movement by proving Black Success.

iii. Motown is credited with the success of influential artists such as: Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, etc.

b. A lot of white people and people today believe Motown was only created for the money and the money was being kept tight around Gordy for his wealth.

i. In 1966, Motown had 200 musicians under a contract, only 4 were paid. The four that were paid were Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Diana Wells, and Stevie Wonder.

ii. Gordy Berry originally wanted his artists to have nothing to do with racism and he believed the controversy could slow the succession of this record company.

iii. Motown was scared of losing money and was extremely protective over white fans by dressing artists so they appeal to the white fan base.

c. Even though there is a big argument whether Motown was in it for just the money or that it actually inf...

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...usic gave young and old people hope. With the success of musicians in the civil rights era proved as a turning point and a little bit of the road to freedom

Works Cited:

Buford, Larry. "Motown, Civil Rights - Blackface and the Civil War." EURweb. 18 Dec. 2013

Gross, Terry. "Get On the Bus: The Freedom Riders of 1961." NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.

"Sam Cooke Biography." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.

"Songs and the Civil Rights Movement." Songs and the Civil Rights Movement. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.

"Marian Anderson Biography." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.

"Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power (Google eBook)." Google Books. 18 Dec. 2013

"The music." The Sound: Motown, Hitsville, USA. 18 Dec. 2013

Tomasky, Michael. The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.

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