» DVD Review: Let Freedom Sing – How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement
DVD Review: Let Freedom Sing – How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement
Let Freedom Sing is a 2009 DVD documentary that surveys the American civil rights struggle. That’s been done before, certainly. But this film puts a unique, refreshing and fascinating spin on the story by setting it against the backdrop of music. The film’s subtitle (How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement) says it all. From early sharecropper sing-alongs to Billie Holiday sides to 70s funk to Chuck D, Let Freedom Sing does an admirable job of covering both the civil rights struggle (up to this point, ‘cos, let’s face it: the struggle continues) and the music. In its roughly 100 minutes, the film hits the high points, manages to involve the viewer emotionally, and leaves the viewer wanting more.
Luckily (and not at all coincidentally) there’s also a 3CD set of music available. Not strictly a companion piece, the Let Freedom Sing CD package (reviewed here) is enjoyable on its own terms, as is this video.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.