Bulldog Blog

News and Views from the University of Redlands

Black History Month: Songs that speak to the past, present, and future

Music—ranging from Negro spirituals to blues, gospel, jazz, hip-hop, and R&B—is a language that can transcend the struggles of oppression, telling the stories that reflect humanity’s social conscience, hopes, and dreams. With the support of University of Redlands students, faculty, and staff members, we created a playlist to honor the people and events within the African diaspora that have contributed to an evolving American consciousness.

From Sam Cooke to Esperanza Spalding, this 25-track compilation includes "What’s Going On," "Amazing Grace," and "Pride (In the Name of Love)." Press play to take a listen, whether you’re with classmates discussing social movements of the past and present or just hanging out solo; enjoy music that has a major influence on American culture. 

If you are a Spotify user, here’s an embedded playlist, ready to go.

If you aren't a Spotify listener, you can log into your own digital music service and line up these songs (in text format below for easier cutting and pasting):  

  • “God in Me” by Mary Mary and Kierra Sheard
  • “Move On Up” by Curtis Mayfield
  • “Alabama” by John Coltrane
  • “Family Reunion” by The O’Jays
  • “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye
  • “Kendrick Lamar: ‘Alright’ Commentary” by Tedashii
  • “Fables of Fabus” by Charles Mingus
  • “Black Gold” by Esperanza Spalding
  • “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder
  • “Glory” by Common and John Legend
  • “Black Butterfly” by Denice Williams
  • “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” by U2
  • “Something Inside So Strong” by Labi Siffre
  • “Amazon Grace” by Mahalia Jackson
  • “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge
  • “People Make the World Go Round” by The Stylistics
  • “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” by Nina Simone
  • “Lift Every Voice And Sing” by Bebe Winans
  • “Wake up Everybody” by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
  • “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” by Whitney Houston
  • “Say It Loud - I’m Black And Proud” by James Brown
  • “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke
  • “Golden” by Jill Scott
  • “Keep Ya Head Up” by 2Pac
  • “India’Song” by India.Arie

Do you have songs you suggest for this playlist? Comment in the space below.