Audio Resources for the Classroom

The Best of Nina Simone

Nina Simone was a simply brilliant musician, a genius who has taken in a wide range of influences — gospel, jazz, folk, classical, blues, European art song, musical theater, and R&B, and blended them together into unique works of art. Nina Simone, 1990 (1962), Polygram Records.




The Long Road to Freedom: An Anthology of Black Music

Between 1961 and 1971, Harry Belafonte sought to create a comprehensive document of what he calls “African-matrixed music”: “African rooted, Africa as origin, evolved from an original African form.” The rough timeframe Belafonte follows begins with the arrival of blacks in America in the early 17th century and ends at the dawn of the recording age. Harry Belafonte, BMG, 2002.



Mississippi Becomes a Democracy
This documentary tells the story of the 1960s voter registration drive in Mississippi that culminated in Freedom Summer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party’s move to unseat the regular delegation to the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City in 1964. The documentary brings the story to life through a combination of archive tape and recent interviews with legendary civil rights activists. Interviews with some of the major organizers, including Bob Moses and Fannie Lou Hamer, show how the events of that year set the stage for sweeping reforms. Interviews with today’s generation of black politicians in Mississippi show the fruit of those struggles and what remains to be accomplished. 2003, Soundprint.


Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell about Life in the Segregated South

A viscerally powerful book and compact-disc compilation of firsthand accounts of the Jim Crow era drawing on the 1,200 interviews with African Americans that make up the Duke University collection called Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South. Readers and listeners will confront “the dailiness of the terror blacks experienced at the hands of capricious whites” and of “the capacity of the black community to come to each other’s aid and invent means of sustaining the collective will to survive.” The editors provide lucid historical context for recollections of family, work, school, and church. Two one-hour compact discs, 50 black-and-white photos, and the book: Chafe, William, et al., eds. Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell about Life in the Segregated South. New York, NY: New Press, 2003.

Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966

Over 40 songs including “If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus,” “We Shall Not Be Moved,” “Woke Up This Morning with My Mind on Freedom,” and “We Shall Overcome.” Smithsonian Folkways. Catalog #40084.




Will the Circle Be Unbroken? An Audio History of the Civil Rights Movement in Five Southern Communities and the Music of Those Times

This compilation takes listeners into the homes, schools, streets and courtrooms of Atlanta, Georgia; Little Rock, Arkansas; Jackson, Mississippi; Montgomery, Alabama; and Columbia, South Carolina. It reveals how back room negotiations, federal intervention, violent resistance, litigation, and mass movement came together to form one of the most profound social phenomena of this century. A 13-week listing guide is available online at the series website. 1997, Southern Regional Council.