Music of a Movement: 20 Socially Conscious Classics
Mahalia Jackson: "We Shall Overcome"
"We Shall Overcome" is known as the unofficial civil rights anthem. After Rev. Martin...
"We Shall Overcome" is known as the unofficial civil rights anthem. After Rev. Martin Luther King deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech during the 1963 March on Washington, the crowd of 250,000 sang "We Shall Overcome." Although the song has been performed by numerous artists, Mahalia Jackson's version is most closely associated with the movement because she worked closely with Dr. King. In his 1964 book Why We Can’t Wait, King wrote that civil rights activists "sing the freedom songs today for the same reason the slaves sang them, because we too are in bondage and the songs add hope to our determination that 'We shall overcome, Black and white together, We shall overcome someday.'"