Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

A Freedom Singer Shares The Music Of The Movement

This week, the White House programmed a series of evenings celebrating the music that tells the story of America. "In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music From the Civil Rights Movement", a concert celebrating Black History Month, captured the hardships and hopes of those fighting for equal rights in America during the 1960s.

The event brought together numerous guest speakers to showcase readings and songs from the civil rights movement, including legendary Motown singer Smokey Robinson, Bob Dylan and one of the original Freedom Singers, Bernice Johnson Reagon.

Here, Neal Conan talks with Reagon and her daughter, Toshi Reagon, about the creation, impact and influence of music during the civil rights movement.

Hear some field recordings of the music sung by the Freedom Singers for mass meetings and conferences organized during the civil rights movement below.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit