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In the song, “Birmingham Sunday” by Joan Baez, the singer describes a scene in a church

He describes the “clouds as dark” which is an indicator of the gloom. They also use the name of the bird falcon of death to show the imminent death of the four. There are four people in the song given numbers by the killers they just have to die. The mention of four blackberries in the blue sea, and four dark ships in the forest are symbols of how misplaced racism is. The persona begins and ends by saying he will sing a song in a manner that it will not wrong any one. These words mean that the message against racism has to continue. Just like the choir “kept singing of freedom” (Farina, 1964).

The other song is on racism is “Colors of the Wind” performed by Vanessa Williams

In this song, the voice in the song asks a question whether someone thinks he or she is wild. The persona is obviously talking to someone who looks down upon her. She also boasts that she has good and sincere friends in nature, unlike him. These friends she talks about are also of many colors and are not self seeking. Obviously she is talking about a white colonialist who pretended to be her friend and brother, but looked down upon her since she was an Indian (Schwartz and Menken, 1995).

“Colored People” performed by Dctalk, encourages all to ignore the melanin shade in every one of us

The song seeks reconciliation among the races as the only way of eliminating racial discrimination. The persona blames ignorance for racism. He says that if God was an artist, then we could have been the canvas. This means that we would be the medium in making the world beautiful. The chorus we are “colored people” just seeks to emphasis that our only difference is color (Mckheehan and Cocchini). The other song is “Black and White” sung by Three Dog Night, uses the contrast of some things in the world to emphasis the need for all the races of the world to work together. For example, he compares colors of the day and night in the same world. He also uses the example of black ink on a paper that is white to convey a message. The song goes on to say that the when the black and white child grow together, then we will be liberated. I suppose from the slavery of racism (Arkin and Robinson 1972).

Finally, in the song “Black or White”, Michael Jackson shows how difficult it is to fight racism irrespective of one’s race. The persona in the song says that he is tired of putting up with racism. He tells all who want to be associated with him that it doesn’t matter their race (Jackson, 1991).

In the research that has been conducted recently, researchers have concluded that rock music could encourage racism against those who are not white. One of the most notable names of artistes mentioned, whose music could have such an effect, include Bruce Springsteen and White Stripes. Researchers also found out another amazing bit about music with respect to racism. Caucasian students who listened to music by certain artistes, such as Gwen Stephanie and Akon, who played hip hop and popular music, had decreased the level of discrimination towards other races (NewsOne, 2012).

Since the olden times, the theme of racism has been tackled by numerous musicians especially in the American society. The main racial group that has been affected most by this form of discrimination is the African Americans. They have tried to be accepted in the American society through music. The election into office of an African-American president can be described as a step towards conquering of this monster (Fontenot, 2013). A number of years have passed since the movement was formed by rock-artistes against racism. They felt that, mere complaints were not enough and effective in the tackling this vice. The research question in the article is the changing face of racism. The research method used is content analysis (Dangerfield, 1978). This article is useful in the understanding of racism in popular music. It illustrates how individuals realized the effectiveness of popular music in pushing for racial tolerance. This helps to bring the messages in the songs analyzed into perspective.

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