ARTIST COLLABORATION WITH SOCIAL JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS PROPEL CHANGE
in Southern Poverty Law Center
In 1971, soul singer Marvin Gaye released a plaintive, riveting song called “What’s Going On” on an album of the same name.
The album was unlike any Gaye had ever recorded. The title song made a plea for love and understanding as it rebuked the nation’s leaders for the deep problems still plaguing the U.S. nearly two decades after the Civil Rights Movement began.
Institutional racism, disenfranchisement and police violence against people of color remained entrenched, and tens of thousands of Americans were dying in the Vietnam War, catalyzing widespread social unrest. “What’s Going On” captured progressive Americans’ frustration and weariness with the racial oppression and brutality of the times. FOR MORE