6 inspiring Black protest songs, from ‘Strange Fruit’ to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Alright’

Black America has a long and winding history of using songs for defiance and consolation.

Testimonies from slave ship sailors recall how kidnapped Africans during the Atlantic slave trade sang to send messages and track down family members. Once they reached the Americas, enslaved Africans and their descendants would use singing to share coded information about the Underground Railroad and, on rare occasions, good news.

José Abreu6 inspiring Black protest songs, from ‘Strange Fruit’ to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Alright’