Music as an art form has historically been able to explore and commentate on the social issues of its time. Music from as far back as the Middle Ages has been used as an outlet. Ring around the Rosies, that you likely sang in preschool, has its roots in the Bubonic Plague. Every war in history has songs attributed to it, the participants, and the ones left at home. Fast forward to the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s, popular artists supported the movement in song. Today’s artists sing about George Floyd, drive-by shootings, and the gap between the rich and the poor. Music is a fantastic way to understand a culture and the pressures it faces.
We are a year out from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) and George Floyd protests. The images and pain are still clear. This song, released in 1971 by Marvin Gaye nails current social issues. The line, “You know we’ve got to find a way to bring some lovin’ here today”, is still important today, 50 years after being written.
What’s Going On, 1971 Marvin Gaye, Renaldo Benson, Alfred Cleveland
Spotify collection of songs celebrating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Faculty – School of Information Systems & Technology, DEI Taskforce Co-Chair