Let Freedom Sing: How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement
2009, Directed by Jon Goodman
Let Freedom Sing opens with an important question: did music affect the civil rights movement or did the civil rights movement effect music? Somehow, the answer seemed to be a combination of both. The documentary provides many powerful images and historical footage, as it maps out how music during this time period evolved and changed and continues to do so today. A variety of both black and white voices were heard, whether they were interviewed or singing. A viewer got to watch many of their favorite songs performed such as Respect by Aretha Franklin or Bob Marley’s “Get up, stand up.” More importantly, it showed how such songs both healed and empowered members of the black community as the struggled (and as they continue to struggle) for a more equitable and just society. The big takeaway from the film was that music touches everybody; that music has the power to spark and bring about change. The documentary shows yet another important lense to the civil rights movement that is never discussed within our classrooms or the mainstream media; it is an important watch.