American Folk Music Politics and Protest

As the civil rights movement gained momentum in the 1960s, folk music gave voice to a new generation longing for equality and justice. "We Shall Overcome" is particularly well-known as a civil rights anthem. Folk music also played an influential role in environmental political efforts and anti-war protests during the United States' engagement in Vietnam. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings playlists, Sounds of the Civil Rights Movement and Peace Songs of the 1960s, reveal the vibrancy of the genre.