Music and Social Activism Essay

Music and Social Activism


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Music is one of the best ways to communicate with other people. It is a channel of communication that attracts more enthusiasts and even advocates. The expression of views, feelings and emotions, opinions and other matters may be done through music. That is why music is also considered as a means of living. Music artists exist all over the world to entertain people. But the finest purpose of music is to promote appropriate social conditions, positive changes in the society, economic development, world peace, and human development.

In that case, music and social activism are intimately linked with each other due to its complementary nature. In short, social activism is made easy through the use of music as a medium of expression.

In this paper, the linkage of music and social activism particularly peace movement will be discussed and reviewed. The four music genres that are usually used to promote social activism are rap music, folk and jazz with funk, punk rock, and reggae.

There are huge music ventures that also promote social activism like gospel music prayer, music that promotes nationalism, Hurricane Katrina-inspired music, musicians who performed to raise awareness, and the fame of Indigo girls. All these topics will be tackled in this literature with the aim of knowing the importance of music for the promotion of social activism.

Social activism can be defined as attitudes and actions that challenge to persuade the social delivery of status, power, and resources (Perez, 2009, p. 1). One of the goals of activism is to shift exploited populations into an improved social condition. Debates had been in progress about the degree to which the social work profession should connect in matters of social justice and reform (Perez, 2009, p. 1). Some social workers struggle to uphold the community organizing representation that links methods of progressive universal reform and social justice. Others have adhered towards a more traditional, individual adjustment replica of attempting social transformation. As social work expands and changes constantly, consciousness of the dynamics of social work activism aids social workers to keep in line with social work values (Perez, 2009, p. 1). Yet, social activism does not end there. The incorporation of music in the promotion of social activism proves to be effective through the years. The evidences for that matter continue to pile as some famous musicians attempt to value social activism.

In addition, the most important aspect of social activism is peace movement. Peace movement is composed of persons and organizations that allocate shared attitude that peace must be obtained through nonviolent means—if possible through cooperation, not competition, among states (Schwebel, 2005, p. 398). The group tries to form public opinion for opposition even its own government’s policies if the political leaders approve violence in the affairs among countries, or between groups within countries (Schwebel, 2005, p. 398). Peace activists recount to the peace movement either as part of a peace institutions or as persons who contribute to the shared pro-peace approach and connect in anti-war actions as they prefer.

The two kinds of activists are the conventional and unconventional. Conventional activists are those who operate within the system (Schwebel, 2005, p. 399). They search changes in policies, maybe by persuading the selection of candidates for political office, altering the platforms of the chief political parties, or enriching campaigns to modify government policy. Being within the system, conventional activists have admittance to the media, being invited on TV talk shows and pages in newspapers (Schwebel, 2005, p. 399). Unconventional peace activists are those activists that function outside the system. They generate and preserve peace organizations and seek out to notify and persuade the public through a diversity of means including journalism, the Internet, correspondence to editors, music, rallies, vigils, and picketing weapons centers (Schwebel, 2005, p. 400). These activists however, see little hope for alteration by functioning within the system.

Literature Review

            There are four basic music genres of which social activism are promoted. These music genres include rap music, folk and jazz with funk, punk rock, and reggae. The famous rap music in Japan is Banana Ice who released a rap song which ridiculed young hip-hop fans who darkened their skins as a sign of respect toward African-American rappers (Condry, 2007, 637). However, such act of hip-hop fans was considered a dubious two-sidedness to the utilization of hip-hop in Japan. Condry explained that tanning the skin and wearing dreadlocks are done both as sign of respect towards African-American musicians and that the black culture wants to stand out (Condry, 2007, 637). The exhibition of young hip-hop fans, break dancers, and Japanese who are dreadlocks and sporting tanned skins are considered as the most outstanding hip-hop devotion in Japan, but American and Japanese critics mentioned that it symbolizes a misuse and perplexity of black music, style, and culture (Condry, 2007, 637).

            In connection, Condry argued that said imitations of Japanese hip-hop fans can be viewed as a new cultural politics of difference which discards racial or ethnic essentialism in lieu of a more composite perception of how individuality is constructed and enacted in various ways (Condry, 2007, 638). His argument is anchored on the apparent truth that Japanese rappers employ in a new cultural politics of affiliation by depicting alliances to African-American rap music. But this observation does not guarantee activities for greater equality among people. Hence, Condry’s imagination of trans-racial utopia is attached with a caveat or warning that positive improvement of hip-hop in Japan could be misleading and was never meant to become a channel for progressive changes in the country (Condry, 2007, 640).

            Another researcher who worked on the relevance of rap music in social activism is Barrer. His illustrations of how rap improved the society are peculiar and notable. Barrer studied how rap improved the social conditions of the people in Slovak. Barrer gave illustrations on how rap provides a vector of advantaged admission to discourses within Slovak society. Aside from that his essay also demonstrates an approach into how a global music phrase has been accustomed and re-modeled with local meanings (Barrer, 2009, p. 59). A key part of rap’s appeal and capacity to provoke audiences lies in its lyrical content, which aggressively counters official standards in language and the thematic norms of other styles of contemporary popular music (Barrer, 2009, p. 59).

In the Slovak society, one of the most politically engaged Slovak rap artists is named Zverina (Barrer, 2009, p. 59). He is the rap artist who, in Zosrdca which means “From the Heart” relates himself as a real nationalist with a “white, and red heart’’ while questioning the deceit, dishonesty, disloyalty and immorality of Slovak politics (Barrer, 2009, p. 59). Aside from that, Zverina tried to rise a non-racial imagining of Slovak nationhood by proclaiming that the citizens of Slovakia are ‘‘all one nation’’ who want to co-exist in conformity and common respect (Barrer, 2009, p. 70).

            Another group which utilized hip-hop as a means of promoting social activism is the all-female group called Las Krudas. The members of the said group are Black Cubans who wanted to express their dissatisfaction of social and economic conditions in most Cubans. Armstead pointed out that the government of Cuba is trying to advise Black Cubans that there is no need for them to express their grievances in terms of race and class since there are really no problems on those issues (Armstead, 2007, p. 106). The Cuban political leaders would always mention that race and social class problems are already solved after the revolution. But, Black Cubans still experience all classes of discrimination despite the said insinuations of Cuban influential leaders.

            The role of the Las Krudas in expressing views about the ethnic and social class issues in Cuba is vital to the end of discrimination among Black Cubans. Hip-hop emerged in Cuba as a powerful tool for political expression with little political channels open to young Black Cubans (Armstead, 2007, p. 106). Armstead declared that hip-hop domination in Cuba is the theater of the oppressed that tackle ethnic and economic problems faced by Black Cubans. The hip-hop group Las Krudas emerged as a peculiar audacious amidst this hip-hop scene in Cuba.

            Another influential music genre that promotes social activism is jazz music. According to Tietze, the intimate connection between individual identity and Jazz is apparent in American experience (Tietze, 2008, p. 245). The teaching and learning process that engages the whole person and maximizes self-understanding is the result or outcome of linking individual identity and jazz in an educational course of study which is designed to integrate data from both forms of a person’s cognition, intellectual knowledge and emotionally-valued circumstances (Tietze, 2008, p. 245). The rationale behind this point is that a fundamental social scrutiny of the nature and purpose of art is expressed in jazz music.

            In connection, the study of jazz in terms of social view is done with individual improvisation which is created in group framework. On the basis of the call-and-response dialogue between listening and the artistic expression of one’s own voice, improvisation devised upon a groundwork given by the group’s rhythmic arrangement (Tietze, 2008, p. 246). Tietze has been incorporating jazz in his teaching method of a particular subject. In addition, the authority and development represented by students’ narrative and original preferences are part of what makes education meaningful and fulfilling for Tietze (Tietze, 2008, p. 247). In Tietze’s case studies, the importance of jazz in social activism was also revealed.

            The genre folk and jazz with funky style is popularized by singer-songwriter Ember Swift. In his 2005 article, Cohen maintained that Ember Swift had been playing politically-charged music since the year 1997 (Cohen, 2005, p. 1). Ember Swift independently managed her own label under Few’ll Ignite Sound which also serves as an essential resource center for other artists (Cohen, 2005, p. 1). Ember was able to produce and release eight albums under her music outfit. Cohen emphasized that Ember Swift is expert in blending politics, activism and do-it-yourself philosophy.

A persistent performer, Ember Swift and musical associate Lyndell Montgomery for the bass, electric violin, and backing vocals play over 200 shows per year (Cohen, 2005, p. 1). The latest album of Ember Swift entitled Disarming that was released in the year 2004, talks such stimulating issues such as political responsibility, water privatization and consumer capitalism (Cohen, 2005, p. 1). All the way through, Ember Swift finds time to breathe fresh air into the commercial culture that exhausts the music industry. Besides, Ember Swift is also accountable for her views, too (Cohen, 2005, p. 1). In the year 2002, Ember Swift offered her way to dissent post-September 11 security legislation in Canada. She offered a concise to Parliament arguing that the feds were clamping (Cohen, 2005, p. 1).

Another interesting topic is the Puerto Rican way of promoting social activism through music. A small number of works have studied unconventional local practices or the political activism by and within the Nuyorican youth community in spite of current scholarly interventions into the artistic construction of modern Puerto Rican accepted music. Mateus pointed out that even less studied is the force of so-called “white” musical genres and popular culture like punk rock on Boricua individuality build-up (Mateus, 2004, p. 249). Within the context of cosmopolitan, trans-local, and hybrid puertorriqueno cultural praxis, including urban manifestations recommend the pattern of an innovative Nuyorican collective and political consciousness and the convalescence and preservation of Puerto Rican activism.

In both the United States and Cuban contexts, rap music represents directly to the societal traumas and dislocations experienced by African descended peoples existing in metropolitan places (Mateus, 2004, p. 250). Going back to the music of Las Krudas, there is a linkage between how Puerto Ricans and Cubans promote social activism. Regardless of the official, government proclamations of justice, financial opportunity, public mobility, and ethnic equality, inequity is still the regulation for most Black Cubans (Mateus, 2004, p. 250).

Besides, Las Krudas frankly address and challenge their spectators. The lyrics of the group teach their listeners to augment their pride and embrace the powerful message of resitance and at the same time secure space for dialogue, empowerment, and self-definition and breaking the silence about the nature and effects of Cuban patriarchy and racism (Mateus, 2004, p. 251). The musicians in Puerto Rico as well as in Cuba that promotes social activism increase their activist upshot by means of youth theater places and community shows. These groups of singers succeeded in the imposition of an exceptional oppositional individuality onto public freedom that is otherwise complicated to attain.

Ardizonne discussed that during those times when the world was beset with troubles like conflict, dearth, hunger, corruption, numerous young people have initiate to lift their voices and speak up for change (Ardizonne, 2008, p. 49). Based on history, youth activism normally originates on college campuses and focused myriad issues (Ardizonne, 2008, p. 49). At present, despite the failure to totally eradicate the issues like war, racism, sexism and human rights, younger activists attended more groups and participated in their movement which has become global (Ardizonne, 2008, p. 49).

Ardizonne is aware that we are grateful in the advent of technological advancement like the Internet a popular culture wherein it is easy to share information. Young activists are giving out knowledge, thoughts and events resolutely establishing themselves as fundamental members of global civil society (Ardizonne, 2008, p. 49). Besides, these young people attend protests and marches whenever organizers call for any participation. Young activists also distribute pamphlets and guide workshops, as write music and create web logs (Ardizonne, 2008, p. 49). The discussion of Ardizonne is timely since it talks about the influence of music especially punk as a way for youth activism.

There are various ways of providing the youth the opportunity to communicate themselves through their culture, whether in music, movie, and literature which gives legitimacy to these insignificant voices and the idea that perception does not need to be clear in definition or expression (Ardizonne, 2008, p. 49). According to critics, however, the insignificant or exploited have a resistance to find their rights to be heard—a voice which is broken down and reflects pain and anguish (Ardizonne, 2008, p. 50). Essentially, the struggle also appears in the picture where the voice originates and as well as articulating the voice since expressions can put down gaps so that voice can be viewed as “in practice of being and the means one lives”(Ardizonne, 2008, p. 50).

Moreover, the expression of one’s custom of living life is hard to express. The young people who participated in social activism were viewed by Ardizonne as struggling in terms of acceptance in the society. Since their way of living is different compared to other young people, criticisms from the public may be hurled against them. However, their contribution in having better changes in the society is vital to the development of a nation.

There are many uses of punk rock in the promotion of social activism. Punk rock is a case of the grounded visual researcher Temple is talking about. Youth utilize the influence of punk rock to understand media and obtain meaning for their personal lives. Using up punk rock is also a fraction of this aesthetic as it aides in shaping identity and cultural structures and leads to cultural empowerment (Temple, 1999, p. 53). For instance, the music youth buy, or download, or distribute help in the youth empowerment and development process if they are participating in political punk or hip-hop they are either building a statement or embarking on a course of self-education (Temple, 1999, p. 53).

There are two kinds of punk rock as mentioned by Temple in his 1999 article entitled Noise from Underground which dealt with social activism and punk rock music. Punk rock is either traditional or contemporary. While traditional punk rock has always been “angry” and counter-culture, the contemporary punk rock on the other hand, is not only angry, but also political and extremely educational (Temple, 1999, p. 53).

. Temple captured the purposes why pink rock was used by young people in the process of social activism.  Young people who are punk rockers are utilizing their voices to re-acquire the future they believe as stolen from them by fraudulent political leaders, insatiable businessman and an indifferent, money-oriented public (Temple, 1999, p. 53). Essentially, opinionated music is not exclusively the area of alternative rockers nowadays. To that effect, folk music and hip-hop performers have long offered a political education to their spectators. One intelligent example of virtual genres gathered to offset the war apparatus and effort for peace is the ‘AWOL’ venture of the War Resisters League (Temple, 1999, p. 54).  By means of art, music, poetry and prose youth artists implicated in this venture search for means to lift awareness and amalgamate voices (Temple, 1999, p. 56).

In this respect, Temple’s perusal of alternative youth media demonstrates myriad conclusions. First, it is a fact that there is a global youth culture. This global youth culture is evident in their active participation in music development from all parts of the world. Second, it is flourishing by means of global communications, such as music and the Internet. Topics about rap, reggae, punk rock and jazz are being discussed in the Internet and shared by youth who are passively or actively part of social activism. Third, the alternative youth media resolutely plastered on political and social change via support for youth voice activities and development (Temple, 1999, p. 53).

The fourth one is the subsistence of punk in the music scene undoubtedly demonstrates that life experiences in poverty are absolutely located for moving things up (Temple, 1999, p. 53). Fifth, that being poor is an idyllic way to lift up consciousness (Temple, 1999, p. 53). And sixth, that music is a relevant inspiring and educational factor, and that politics in a usual sense does not have to be the case (Temple, 1999, p. 53). Lastly, punk rock delves with local and global issues, giving creators and listeners to take paths such as marginalization that leads to alternate music which raises awareness and sparks activism, in turn changing social conditions to support a global youth movement. Simply, youth culture equals youth power (Temple, 1999, p. 56).

            It was Ardizzone who studied the contribution of Rock Against Racism or (RAR) movement in social activism. This movement is known to be born of crisis (Ardizzone, 2005, p. 44). The movement was founded last1976 which relates to a period of thoughtful political and economic volatility within Britain and it happened against a background of group tensions and heightening discrimination (Ardizzone, 2005, p. 44).

In line with that, the animated reaction to RAR’s communication assured that the movement developed into one of the most forceful anti-racism call and activities of the last 30 years (Ardizzone, 2005, p. 44). Based on the report of Ardizzone, the supporters of RAR knows that as part of a wider anti-racist and anti-fascist progress, the movement activated  to the termination of the National Front (NF) as a grim electoral and political force (Ardizzone, 2005, p. 46). Moreover, the members of the group also maintain that RAR developed an ethos within popular music that augmented a more multicultural scene in later years (Ardizzone, 2005, p. 46). Hence, there was an evident transformation of revolutionary from cynicism to constructive engagement (Ardizzone, 2005, p. 46).

The research finding of Goodyear on punk rock is intimately related to the work of Mateus and Ardizzone. Goodyear maintained that social influence within RAR is also obvious in the analysis of capitalism that analyzes RAR’s politics. This significant position shaped the forays of the organization leading to the topics of sexual category and sexual political views, British imperialism, the function of the state, and the war in Ireland (Goodyear, 2003, p. 46).

Goodyear is skeptical on the most serious criticism of RAR is that it was, itself, absolutely racially prejudiced. This analysis catapulted to a claim that RAR was conquered by white organizers, who planned to disregard the black musicians implicated in the movement (Goodyear, 2003, p. 47). The uncertainty of Goodyear’s claim on the status of RAR is based on the notion that indeed, RAR movement is dominated by white members who tend to discriminate black musicians.

Moreover, punk languor has been going on now for a long stretch of time. The tenth anniversary years which are counted from 1986 to 1989 recognized the drift and the market for the occurrence of punk nostalgia, and the first signal of CD compilations and band re-releases appeared to provide the need (Goodyear, 2003, p. 29). The summer of 1996 manifest the twentieth centenary of the summer of punk in United Kingdom and instigated an era of punk nostalgia in Northern Ireland that has barely ignored since (Goodyear, 2003, p. 46).

McLoone claimed that the ultimate position that appeared from the interviews is perhaps the most utopian (McLoone, 2004, p. 35). McLoone is also aware that the punks in Belfast are apprehensive to distinguish themselves from the scene of the London punk of two years previously. This is considered as a transitory stage, a style and a mere bare style that has no sufficient social and political border of its Belfast complement (McLoone, 2004, p. 35).

The English punk panorama was fundamentally a pessimistic style while punk in Northern Ireland was an optimistic social and cultural strength (McLoone, 2004, p. 36). The punks believe that English punk panorama was intended to last because it was occupied in a procedure of establishing an option to both the parent culture and the culture of opposition that was modeled by republican and loyalist paramilitaries (McLoone, 2004, p. 36). Of course, it lasted. The evidence indicates that grimy protests and the republican famine strikes of 1980–81 elevated the wisdom of the bleak beyond that of a sheer sub-cultural method (McLoone, 2004, p. 36).

The article written by McLoone assesses the effect of English funk structure in the society. The political temperature was elevated and as the music and the styles elsewhere transcended from novel wave to novel romantic, the punk panorama in Belfast distorted back into sectarianism (McLoone, 2004, p. 36). McLoone noticed that the situation is a dissent from dissent which is important for accepting the nature of the punk flash in Northern Ireland and for analyzing the kind of melancholy that it generates twenty-five years later (McLoone, 2004, p. 36).

For many children at that time, punk rock music was one of the minority channels for showing anger in the direction of what they professed as the political and cultural ruin around them (McLoone, 2004, p. 36). The point is that unconventional rock did enjoy a short era of normal popularity in the early nineties, when it was exposed and dispersed by the main labels. But, by mid-1998, it had been affirmed commercially boring. At present, there is only a nominal probability that any music fan young or old-will come across all the way through any main media channel the songs of complaint that persist to spring forth from the punk underground.  The main media outlet record companies have finalized in developing a pay-to-play business that efficiently shuts out any band whose label cannot counterfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars for broadcasting, film, trade and print promotion (McLoone, 2004, p. 36).

There was a time in the United States when the country was in disorder because the Vietnam War and the movement for civil rights had given repeated voices of dissatisfaction against the present condition. Bartkowiak stated that the White Panther Party (WPP) and its spokesperson showed propaganda machine to the masses.  The MC- WPP was an activist association that called for the whole breaking of the structure of power and strength in the United States and that required this upheaval in the course of popular culture and media (Bartkowiak, 2007, p. 55). The organization was also founded to assert a whole attack on the culture of the United States, and to create social change. With that, the MC-WPP was enduring a constituent of rock music that had been current from the beginning (Bartkowiak, 2007, p. 55).

Although upheaval is bound up with market achievement, it also has become an appraisal for measuring genuineness, for understanding the potential of rock music as a dissident practice and eventually for social change and growth (Bartkowiak, 2007, p. 56). Bartkowiak admitted that members wanted an array of ends in the carriers of the band and organization; some simply look for a possibility to become rock stars and enjoy sexual encounters (Bartkowiak, 2007, p. 56). Others completely dedicated to ideas of social change and the supremacy of obtaining it through music, with several views in between (Bartkowiak, 2007, p. 56). Nevertheless, both the cluster and the association weathered to what degree these introductory traditions of rebellion could endorse essential social change through music.

The evidence indicates that people witness persistent and ongoing power of youth rebellion informing reflections of rock music (Bartkowiak, 2007, p. 57). Eventually, the group would separate itself from Sinclair and the Party, and make public two more albums that commercially failed, which led to the termination of the group in the early 1990s (Bartkowiak, 2007, p. 57). Still, the belief of uprising is strong in the record of rock and in the history of the MC-WPP.

Alvarez investigates how the utilization and production of reggae by native groups concurrently critiques the force of globalization on their places and adopt far reaching network. The author of the article also examines how reggae develops trans-regional native identities and edifying trade while it also strengthens local situations, spaces, and histories (Bartkowiak, 2007, p. 57).

Aside from that, Alvarez also reflects on how reggae serves as a medium for some indigenous groups to assert self-respect in the face of the discriminatory effects of globalization. Concurrently, it contrasted such a political project by not claiming the self-respect of others and reinforcing dealings of economic dissimilarity (Bartkowiak, 2007, p. 57). These outlines of inquiry, moreover, expose that there is always an elaborate rapport between reggae and indigenous social movements, giving hold to the argument that some cultural habits and venues have the possibility to be twisted into resources that might be processed in the chase of social justice under certain conditions (Bartkowiak, 2007, p. 58). The manufacture of reggae music in indigenous communities is one instance of how globalization processes in the shape of daily cultural and political appearance as much as it does in the movement of trans-national corporations and nation-states (Bartkowiak, 2007, p. 58).

It was Barnes who exposed the importance of the Black Church music in social activism. Barnes mentioned that Black Church music has long been measured as bulwark in the Black community (Barnes, 2005, p. 967). Research strengthens its religious, economic, socio-cultural and political scope (Barnes, 2005, p. 967). Additional modern studies have a tendency to disagree with some of these comments. Research also recommends that unpredictability in community achievement based on denomination, with fewer hierarchical denominations usually encourage civic and social appointment and better community support among the Methodists and Baptists compared to Church of God in Christ suitable to the historic dissimilarities in community participation, denominational polity, socio-economic position of the membership, communications of local congregations, and theological term of the church culture (Barnes, 2005, p. 967). In accumulation to fewer tangible factors connected with church culture, clergy instruction and their individual theology as well as church dimension and financial firmness also have been shown to power community deed (Barnes, 2005, p. 967).

By way of culture, people are able to recognize issues and problems, work for it, and devise effective means to concentrate on them (Barnes, 2005, p. 968). Another significant feature of cultural analysis focused on how culture is framed to effect neighborhood achievement. Barnes applied the theory of Benford purposely to Black Church changes, shaping can be imposed to support advocates concerning the harshness and importance of social problems that influence the Black community as well as their personal efficiency and decorum as possible change agents (Barnes, 2005, p. 968).

In this study of Barnes, he tests current hypothetical assumptions concerning the pressure of specific Black Church artistic tools on society action for a nationwide model of Black churches. Conclusion of his study regarding the issue on social activism sustains the authority of existing structure of Black Church culture, but often in unanticipated conduct (Barnes, 2005, p. 968). These outcomes demonstrate clear connections between gospel music as a cultural representation and community achievement in spite of of church and pastoral changes. And though universal references to scripture does not emerge to have a force on community participation, precise references to cultural signs historically associated to group cohesion, emancipation themes, ethnic dynamics and the need for social justice effect in church participation in socio-political population dealings (Barnes, 2005, p. 968).

 Barnes however, gave a caveat to readers that they should be vigilant in obstructing the ineptitude of sacred scripture in the Black Church custom (Barnes, 2005, p. 968). Slightly, this finding promotes that more alert themes and biblical applications are powerful in clearing up the kinds of society action considered here (Barnes, 2005, p. 968). In other words, the social activism promoted by the Black Church was covered by the powerful scriptural implications. In that way, many people would listen and ponder the church prayers and music that implies social activism.

The researcher who wrote about the importance of nationalism in relation to music is Arblaster. In the era which happens amid the conclusion of the Napoleonic wars in the year 1815 and the commencement of the First World War in the year 1914, and, maybe up to around 1950, there is no philosophy which is more significant in the history of Western music than the ideology of nationalism (Arblaster, 2002, p. 260). Apparently, nationalism can seize a selection of structures, yet not all of them are attractive or admirable (Arblaster, 2002, p. 260).

McLeese is one of the researchers who wrote about Katrina-inspired music which also promotes social activism. With the cruelest of creative ironies, the utmost tragedy ever to overwhelm an American city has triggered the finest year of songwriting and performing for many of the veteran musicians in the city (McLeese, 2008, p. 213). The musical reflections to the most horrible year in the record of New Orleans were loaded and gallant (Arblaster, 2002, p. 260). The floods that came out after Hurricane Katrina and the governmental incompetence that aggravated most Crescent City inhabitants triggered the interest and will of local artists out of their console zones and satisfaction, resulting to various novel peaks of originality and efficiency (Arblaster, 2002, p. 260). In essence, Katrina-inspired music was so influential that it provokes an American community to the fact that it had always taken the metropolis and its excellently rich cultural legacy for granted (Arblaster, 2002, p. 260).

Geil reported that there are various musicians who raised awareness and money in favor of social activism. One of these musicians is named John Mellencamp. John champions commendable causes (Geil, 2006, p. 1). He, together with Willie Nelson and Neil Young developed Farm-aid, a meeting of musicians to increase awareness and money for those that needs help. In this case, anyone could distinguish many American musicians who participate in the annual concert that association sponsors (Geil, 2006, p. 1).  The year 2006 is the twentieth anniversary of the said cause (Geil, 2006, p. 1). A careful analysis at current news on John Mellencamp will disclose one charitable event after another. John knows how to give back to the land that was given to him (Geil, 2006, p. 1). John not only offered his voice, but also his heart, mind and soul (Geil, 2006, p. 1). Aside from that, John is a known social activist. His music reflects inequality and promotes patience and perception for the broad range of people that make up our country. He accepts the will to love and care for better human condition and has learning to share gathered from a life used up in the rapid track

It was Greene who studied Southern identity that resists convention. Greene argued that music, although it is apparently individual rather than political, showcases a multifaceted world – full of all its complex and contradictory emotions – and asks the spectators to discover those dilemmas and emotions in themselves (Greene, 2008, p. 155). The explicit political music of Southern identity is also intended to get the listener to observe different traditions of being in the world that would show the way to an ethic of love instead violence (Greene, 2008, p. 155). In connection, the music of Indigo Girls which reflects Southern identity is a kind of modified political activism intended to alter the world one listener of music at a time. Since Ray and Saliers in cooperation clearly recognize as Southern in their lines, musical types, lyrics and interviews, this examination of their music will describe its constitution from work on southern identity (Greene, 2008, p. 155). For the presence of Indigo girs in the movement of social activism, it is possible to destroy southern identity and then restore it such that it is more comprehensive and thus more multifaceted compared to the old idea of southern identity as fundamentally traditional, white, male and Protestant (Greene, 2008, p. 155). The Southern identity Indigo Girl was counterfeited in a dialectic as they were not really conscious of their southern identity until it was forced on them by the media (Greene, 2008, p. 155).

Finally, Patterson wrote about the Indigo Girls who have elevated further than being best-selling artists to turn out to be part of the contemporary cultural backdrop. It makes us grateful to the way their music merges with the personal and universal (Patterson, 2000, p. 1). The simple notion is that after more than twenty five years of companionship and developing music together, some fifteen of them on the countrywide recording prospect, Amy Ray and Emily Sailers have much to draw from (Greene, 2008, p. 155). Greene excerpted what the representative of Indigo Girls mentioned: “We’ve been through all the things you go through as a family such as death, marriage, and birth,” which proves to be compelling.


It was never the intention of various researchers that their work might expose individuals and groups that organize and support social activism. In this paper, it is apparent that most of the research articles view social activism as radical and influential despite the possible intrusion of people who opposed their goals. The social issues that beleaguered most of the communities worldwide include war, poverty, hunger, violence, and corruption. These issues must be exposed to the people so that public opinion can be shaped. It is public opinion that weakens governmental policies that impliedly promotes all forms violence and corruption.

The utilization of music genres like reggae, punk rock, rap, and folk and jazz with funky nature is vital to social activism because music greatly influence the public. Indeed, huge music venture like gospel music prayer, music that promotes nationalism, Hurricane Katrina-inspired music, musicians who performed to raise awareness and the fame of Indigo girls also promote social activism. Therefore, the best way to express one’s opinion in promoting social activism is finding one’s voice through music and standing brave against the odds within the society.


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