Racism In Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Going To Come'

1448 Words6 Pages
Music can be seen as an outlet for those who feel they do not have a voice in our society. For world famous Motown singer Sam Cooke “A Change is Going to come” was his vocal outlet of distaste, trust and hopefulness of the 1960s. He desired the civil rights movements to bring upon a better more equal world. This hope is encapsulated forever in this song in the line of lyric that calls out saying, “But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will” (Sam Cooke). A simple, but powerful line on the state of being marginalized since the years of slavery. The change that Cooke so dearly desired is upended by the other lyrics that surround this optimistic line. The clouds of uncertainty shroud the light of hope in this song where there is only one…show more content…
The people that make Cooke, “And I go downtown somebody keep telling me don't hang around” (Cooke). This quote applies two different groups of people. Firstly, it is the politicians who don’t want the “race problem” hanging around. It is messy and clouds the spotless picture of America, they hold so dearly. They were given their change and they should stop asking for more and hanging around. This is why racism in cyclical. Whites have their liberal nationalism, which is a “shared belief among a group of individuals that they belong together, historical continuity stretching across generations, connection to a particular territory, and a shared set of characteristics constituting a national culture” (Song). Whites believe we have a history that possess no blemishes so they should not be brought up in conversation once they have been given a Band-Aid. Secondly the uneducated whites don’t want blacks like to Cooke to hang around because they don’t want their liberal nationalism to be questioned. By sticking those who are similar they can try to find a little more happiness in their hard lives. This white complacency and participation is why change has not come to…show more content…
The inaction and the uncertainty of the river breeds racism, which subsequently leads to a bias society. Where in prisons blacks are incarcerated at a higher rate and police shootings now capture on iPhone show that this racism has not been pushed out of our minds. That’s why ghettos and projects are so poorly off because we choose not to think about it and address the problem because it won’t help get votes. The people in Washington don’t care for those shot in Chicago and no change comes. This is why the change Cooke wanted so badly stalled. It was because whites stopped caring and felt marginalized by society. A society that forces, differences into a corner of rejection a bin of past mistakes. They want to forget the horrors, but in this forgetfulness the root of racism catches ground and begins to grow again. To stop the uncertainty and fearfulness of the American river one must face the tides head on. It is not a passive action it is a constant one and we must always be changing or the sins of the past will continue and the change Cooke wanted will never truly come to

    More about Racism In Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Going To Come'

      Open Document