Past Event

Music of the Civil Rights Movement

A Road Scholar Program by Chris Vallillo

The Civil Rights Movement has been described as one of the greatest singing movements that this country has experienced. From “We Shall Overcome” to “This Little Light of Mine,” music played a vital role in that historic struggle as both an inspirational rallying point and a means of spreading the message of equality and justice. From the Freedom Rides to the jails of Montgomery, Alabama, and from Parchman Prison all the way to Washington, DC, both old and new songs spoke of the yearning for equal rights, the struggle, and the determination to win freedom. They engaged and energized the nonviolent civil disobedience movement led by Dr. King and others. Music was a huge part of the process both locally and nationally.

In a presentation created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, folksinger Chris Vallillo performs pivotal selections from the music that inspired and sustained this landmark movement. Intermixed with the music, Music of the Civil Rights Movement presents first-hand accounts of the historic struggle and discusses the impact of music upon one of our nation’s most important social causes.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Toyin Fox,