Martin Luther King

Photo by Todd Bennett/Getty Images

Today is Martin Luther King Day in the USA. And while we still mourn his passing, we also need to remember that today is a day of celebration as well — a day for reflecting on how far we’ve come in the world, not only the world of Civil Rights, but the realms of social change as a whole.

Below are a dozen songs that may not all be about Dr. King specifically, but that certainly reflect the same humanitarian perspective and sentiment. Which makes them perfect as a soundtrack for today’s national holiday.

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Sam Cooke[/lastfm], “A Change Is Gonna Come”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Lauryn Hill[/lastfm], “A Change Is Gonna Come”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bob Dylan[/lastfm], “Blowin’ in the Wind”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Marvin Gaye[/lastfm], “What’s Goin’ On”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Eddie Vedder[/lastfm], “The Times They Are A-Changin'”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Dion[/lastfm], “Abraham, Martin, and John”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Woody Guthrie[/lastfm], “This Land Is Your Land”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Johnny Cash[/lastfm], “I’m Gonna Try To Be That Way”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]U2[/lastfm], “In the Name of Love”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]James Brown[/lastfm], “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Johnny Cash[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Joe Strummer[/lastfm], “Redemption Song”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Curtis Mayfield[/lastfm], “Keep on Keepin’ On”

See additional King tributes from our friends in Chicago.

Read an interesting story on how Dr. King asked Nichelle Nichols (aka Lt. Uhura) to stay on Star Trek.

Watch a documentary on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr called Man of Peace in a Time of War.


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