Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


The non-violent protestors of the Civil Rights Movement found in their music, a sense of healing and of cohesion within their group, a group of blacks and whites alike, fighting the injustices of a supposedly just society. They used the Freedom Songs to express dissention with the system, to disseminate information to other movement participants, and to bind the group together. The black militants of the '60s in the Civil Rights Movement did not use music as a form of their expression; rather, their silence, an absence of music, said it all. Today, gangsta rappers are a fusion of the ideologies of non-violent protestors and the black militants of the Civil Rights Movement. Gangsta rap music contains the vigorous anger, frustration, and violence of the black militant ideology, and the musical expression of non-violent protestors. Gangsta rappers, and the population that their music speaks to and for, use this music to express their anger and to rebel against a society that not only lacks understanding of that anger, but ignores the root cause of that anger. Our society has turned its back on the urban ghetto populations, and because the contemporary urban society does not have a political voice, members of this population have used music to gain their voice in our society. Unfortunately, it seems that leaders of our country, as well as our citizens and the media, have turned a somewhat deaf ear.