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1964: "Dancing in the Street"

Posted by WMHT Web Editor on

It was the year the Beatles came to America, Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi. It was the year that students at UC Berkeley rose up in protest, African Americans fought back against injustice in Harlem and a conservative revolution took place in the Republican Party. In a myriad of ways, 1964 was the year Americans faced important choices across the social and political spectrum. How did one song capture the sign of the times?

In this video from American Experience: “1964,” students will discover how the hit song “Dancing in the Street” by Martha and the Vandellas became an anthem for society’s upheaval. Intentionally or not, the call to people to come together around the world out into the streets seemed to support and inspire what would later become protests, demonstrations and even riots as young people, African Americans and other groups demanded equal rights and fair treatment. WATCH: http://to.pbs.org/18YIMfB

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