“We Shall Overcome” is an American folk song that has influenced American and world history like few others. At different points in time it has served as a labor movement song, a civil rights song, a hymn, and a protest song and has long held strong individual and collective meaning for the African-American community, in particular, and the American and world communities more generally.
We Shall Overcome: Essays on a Great American Song, edited and compiled by Victor V. Bobetsky, comprises essays that explore the origins, history, and impact of this great American folk song. Inspired by a symposium of guest speakers and student choirs from the New York City Public Schools, chapters cover such critical matters as the song’s ancestry, Pete Seeger’s contribution to its popularization, the role played by the SNCC Freedom Singers in its adoption, the gospel origins and influences of the song, its adaptation by choral arrangers, its use as a teaching tool in the classroom, and its legacy among other freedom songs.
We Shall Overcome: Essays on a Great American Song constitutes an invaluable resource for the music and music education community as well as for members of the general public interested in music, education, history and the civil rights movement. The book provides readers with a wide and unique spectrum of information about the song relevant to researchers and teachers.