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Songs against racism

As we all unite to fight for change here is our list of songs against racism.

Music can be a powerful weapon and can often give a voice to the oppressed and unheard. A number of artists over the years have used their influence and the power of song to convey much needed messaging to the world,  taking advantage of their platform to fight for the greater good.

Unfortunately recent injustices have proved that these songs are still as relevant as ever and the fact that many of these songs are contemporary is a poor reflection on today’s society. So in the wake of tragic recent events and as the world comes together to unite in the fight against discrimination and inequality here is our list of  powerful songs against racism.


Public Enemy – Fight The Power


Year: 1989

Album: Fear of A Black Planet

Important lyrics: “To revolutionize make a change nothing’s strange. People, people we are the same” “To make everybody see, in order to fight the powers that be, Lemme hear you say Fight the power”


 

Marvin Gaye – Inner City Blues


Year: 1971

Album: What’s Going On

Important lyrics: “Crime is increasing, Trigger happy policing, Panic is spreading, God knows where we’re heading”


 

U2 – Pride (In The Name Of Love)


Year: 1984

Album: The Unforgettable Fire

Important lyrics: “Early morning, April 4, Shot rings out in the Memphis sky, Free at last, they took your life, They could not take your pride”


 

Kendrick Lamar – Alright


Year: 2015

Album: To Pimp A Butterfly

Important lyrics: “When our pride was low, Lookin’ at the world like, Where do we go? And we hate po-po, Wanna kill us dead in the street for sho’, I’m at the preacher’s door, My knees gettin’ weak and my gun might blow, But we gon’ be alright”


 

Childish Gambino – This Is America


Year: 2018

Album: N/A

Important lyrics: “This is America, Don’t catch you slippin’ now, Look how I’m livin’ now, Police be trippin’ now” “You just a black man in this world, You just a barcode, ayy”


 

Bob Dylan – The Ballad Of Emmet Till


Year: 1972

Album: Broadside Ballads, Vol. 6: Broadside Reunion

Important lyrics: “This boy’s dreadful tragedy I can still remember well, The color of his skin was black and his name was Emmett Till” “But if all of us folks that thinks alike, if we gave all we could give, We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live”


Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come


Year:1964

Album: Ain’t That Good News

Important lyrics: “It’s been a long, Along time comin’, but I know, A change gon’ come, Oh yes it will”  “And I say, “Brother, help me please”, But he winds up knockin’ me, Back down on my knees”


Beyonce feat. Kendrick Lamar – Freedom


Year: 2017

Album: Lemonade

Important lyrics: “Freedom! Freedom! Where are you? ‘Cause I need freedom, too! I break chains all by myself, Won’t let my freedom rot in hell” “Six headlights wavin’ in my direction, Five-O askin’ me what’s in my possession”


 

Nas feat. Kanye West – Cops Shot The Kid


Year: 2018

Album: Nasir

Important lyrics: “Get scared, you panic, you’re goin’ down, The disadvantages of the brown” “Reminds me of Emmett Till, Let’s remind ’em why Kap kneels”


 

D’Angelo and The Vanguard – The Charade


Year: 2014

Album: Black Messiah

Important lyrics: “All we wanted was a chance to talk, ‘Stead we only got outlined in chalk, Feet have bled a million miles we’ve walked, Revealing at the end of the day, the charade”


 

Gil Scott-Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised


Year: 1970

Album: Small Talk

Important lyrics: “You will not be able to stay home, brother, You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out” “Because Black people will be in the street looking for a brighter day, The revolution will not be televised”


 

Joey Bada$$ – Land of the Free


Year: 2017

Album: ALL AMERICAN BADA$$

Important lyrics: “Can’t change the world unless we change ourselves, Die from the sicknesses if we don’t seek the health” “Disorganized my people, made us all loners, Still got the last names of our slave owners”


 

Common & John Legend – Glory


Year: 2016

Album: Selma: Music from the motion picture

Important lyrics: “The movement is a rhythm to us, Freedom is like religion to us, Justice is juxtapositionin’ us, Justice for all just ain’t specific enough”


Leon Bridges feat Terrace Martin – Sweeter


Year: 2020

Album: N/A

Important lyrics: “Hoping for a life more sweeter, Instead I’m just a story repeating, Why do I fear with skin dark as night? Can’t feel peace with those judging eyes”


« Find out more information on how you can play your part by visiting The Equal Justice Initiative at eji.org »