Skip to main content
Its Been Said All Along Web Hero

Voices of Hope

It's Been Said All Along: Voices of Hope

Hear about the exhibit

It's Been Said All Along: Voices of Hope

Hear about the exhibit
About The Section: Hope

Primarily concerned with ending institutionalized racism, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s was significant in the fight for a democratic society, and music of hope accompanied the struggle.

In 1961, groups of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders rode interstate buses into the South to challenge segregation. They were harassed, beaten and arrested.

One group of Nashville students rode to Birmingham, Alabama, where they were arrested by Public Safety Director Bull Connor. The jailed students kept up their spirits by singing songs such as “Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore,” “We Shall Not Be Moved,” and the Civil Rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.” Connor escorted them back to the Tennessee border saying, “I just couldn’t stand their singing!”

Today, marches still send messages of protest and hope worldwide. The music surging through these movements communicate visions of hope for a just society.

Billie Holiday at The Tiffany Club, Los Angeles, 1952  Courtesy of the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center at California State University
Billie Holiday at The Tiffany Club, Los Angeles, 1952 Courtesy of the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center at California State University
Hear the Story

This image of Holiday was shot by Bob Douglas, who worked for the United States Postal Service for 40 years. He always wanted to be a photographer and would take images throughout LA clubs.

Inductee Bob Marley Hat
Inductee Bob Marley Hat
Hear the Story

Worn in the promotional video for “Is This Love,” reggae icon Inductee Bob Marley popularized the genre while shining a light on injustice in his homeland of Jamaica and globally.

Spotlight On: Dr. Daniel Walker and Messages of Hope

Listen to Dr. Daniel Walker discuss Inductee Aretha Franklin and messages of Hope in songs.

Poster

00:00

Dr. Daniel Walker on Songs of Hope

Hear the Interview

Dr. Daniel Walker on Songs of Hope

Hear the Interview

Take a Trip to the Museum

Induction Ceremony Performances

The Rastafari movement’s most famous ambassador, Inductee Bob Marley, is honored in this performance of “Redemption Song” at the 1994 Induction Ceremony. Watch and listen to experience this message of hope.

Rock Hall EDU

The Staple Singers delivered music with a message, advocating for social activism and positive change.

A PowerPoint presentation on Rock Hall EDU contains the information you need to introduce your students to the Staple Singers: basic biographical facts, a map highlighting some of their most important concerts, a chart of their Top 40 Billboard R&B hits, lyric excerpts from their "message" and protest songs, and a feature slide on Mavis Staples.

See sample PDF for your classroom.

Know More About the Artists

Explore the Hall of Fame Inductees that used their music as a platform for messages to create change and promote equality.

1986 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Sam Cooke
2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Tupac Shakur
1986 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Little Richard

This website uses cookie data. Read our Privacy Policy for more information. By using this website you agree to our Privacy Policy.