We love music and Black music and as we approach this all- important election, I’ve been thinking about the role it’s played to motivate us to do the right thing.  Without picking up a book (not that I’m encouraging that) we can look back at our album, eight-track, cassette, cd collections and iTunes libraries to get a historic look at our fight for equality (We Shall Not be Moved and We Shall Overcome, various artists), succeeding against the odds (How I Got Over, Mahalia Jackson), the impact of the Vietnam War (War, What is it Good For, Edwin Starr), Black pride(Say it Loud, James Brown), Blaxploitation, (Super Fly, Curtis Mayfield), chaos in America (What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye), push for a national holiday for MLK (Happy Birthday, Stevie Wonder),  more chaos (Wake Up Everybody, Teddy Pendergrass),  the effort to end hunger (We Are the World, various artists ) and love for our country (Whitney’s Star Spangled Banner).

The thing about anthems is, that no matter what era they’re written and recorded in, they’re timeless. Listen to the words of Marvin Gaye’s Mercy Mercy Me, recorded in 1971.

“Oh Mercy mercy me.
Oh, things aren’t  what they used to be
Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas, fish full of mercury.
Oh, mercy mercy me.
Oh, things at what they used to be
No no, radiation in the ground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying.”

Those lyrics are just as applicable today as they were more than 40 years ago.

Not that you have to go to the “way back” machine to find a song worthy of anthem-status. It just depends on who you ask. The last 15 years have brought us  a salute to natural beauty (I am Not My Hair, India Arie), love for our black men (Brotha, Angie Stone), yet more chaos (Jesus Walks, Kanye West) and even a positive solution to high gas prices, tornadoes and more racial strife (Kirk Franklin’s Smile).

I would have thought that living to see the election of the first modern day African-American president would have been the spring board for a whole lot music but to be honest, not many songs come to mind. If I’m wrong, help me out. What are the songs that remind you of the 2008 presidential election and, more importantly, what music do you think will motivate us to register and vote in 2012?  Tweet me, text me at 646464, post your responses on Facebook or comment on the blog on BlackAmericaWeb.com.

Also On Black America Web:

24 thoughts on “Music That Moves Us

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  2. brianhurn on said:

    San Antonio, Tx sucks there is no R & B what can i do to request ur station be picked up here in mexico ville

  3. brianhurn on said:

    Tom i am very pissed I just moved to SAN ANTONIO TEXAS and there is no R & B music at all, what can I do to request 102.1. I moved here from Houston TX

  4. kizzee on said:

    HELL YEEEZZZZ Niggas!!!




    Hit em up – THEY WILL HELP U!!

  5. Nathan on said:

    Hi Tom I need help with my ac it blow hot air and yes I live in Miami with a 1year old child and my bathroom in my house need minor repair for the safety of the child can you help ?my number is786-219-7564 I didn’t know where to post this comment any help better than no help thank you Tom

  6. Jamieray1972 on said:

    Talk about the issue with Gospel Recording Artist James Fortune placing his 4 yr old step son in scalding hot watyer when ws 4. Now the biological dad is suing him to pay for palstic surgery. He did that to a 4 year old baby!! the full story is at myfoxhouston.com

  7. BBall2012 on said:

    I know this is off topic, however does anyone know where to find that song by 50 cent and Michael Jackson played on the TJMS this morning? It had the beat from “Can You Feel It”? The song was really hot!!

  8. wilkinsy on said:

    my roomate’s aunt makes $83/hr on the laptop. She has been without work for 8 months but last month her pay was $8682 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site…NuttÿRîçhDÖtcom

  9. K777 on said:

    I appreciate your comment:

    “…is if we are the ones that the kids are looking up to, what do they see when they look at each of us.”

    Children often mimic their parents, so if adults take their children with them to the polls, then they can pass it on to the next generation. I watched my parents vote and witnessed with my own two eyes what avid voting CAN and WILL do to help you and your family. As Black people, we shouldn’t miss voting EVER!

  10. K777 on said:

    I agree with your comment:

    “Perhaps we should check the annuals of history and see what motivated our elders through the years to strive, struggle and finally obtain the right to vote. They probably had their favorite tunes to hum but they came out in the open after the victory was won.”

    It seems as though someone dropped the ball when it comes to ASKING/SUGGESTING/PLEADING that we get out and vote. My parents taught their children, but somewhere, the importance of voting has gotten lost. As Black People, we cannot afford not to vote as our young Black children are (and always will be) in harms way.
    If it takes music to reach some, then so be it. We have to do whatever it takes to get the message out, and the importance of it.

  11. Liis on said:

    Is J. Anthony Brown alright? He got a little unprofessional on air this morning. Maybe he needs a Whoo-sa moment next time he disagrees with a guest (in that manner). I noticed when topics of child support , custody and parenting issues come up he takes a personal interest to voice is opinion. You will agree and disagree with some but as a radio personality to get like that live on air was poor taste.

  12. dman4u on said:

    My song come to mind is by the O’jays, Family Reunion, why ? the way I look at it, WE ARE ALL IN THIS NATION AS BROTHERS, SISTERS,FATHERS AND MOTHERS, PRESIDENT OBAMA IS OUR FATHER.

  13. BigBlackRod on said:

    Sadly, Tom, I don’t believe that White folks WANT to see us in a position of equality and power. As long as we’re bowing and scraping, we’re cool with them. But, as soon as one of us ascends to the highest office in the land, the n-words come out…PEACE.

  14. zephaniah44 on said:

    Mr. Joyner, my name is Zephaniah Coleman. I’m a 22 year old college senior from Houston, Texas and I have a song that is exactly what you are looking for. I wrote and have performed a song titled “go and vote”. It promotes the re-election of President Obama and stresses to the public that he absolutely NEEDS to be re-elected in November. Check it out at this link and let me know what you think http://youtu.be/B72aKHT3h9o

  15. kiwibrwn on said:

    Good morning,Tom, I think it is time for the seasoned generation to understand that in most families we are the elders at the age of 40 plus, so my comment is if we are the ones that the kids are looking up to, what do they see when they look at each of us.

  16. HotChocolate on said:

    Hello Tom, I love music; Music inspires & motivates me all the time. I believe that “We Are The World” recorded by the “Supergroup USA for Africa” back in 1985 would be the perfect song to motivate people in this year’s Presidential Election to get out to register & vote. I also believe that R. Kelly’s song, “I Believe I Can Fly” would be a great song too. Tom, I am so glad that you play uplifting, motivational music each & every day on the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” There is not a day when I don’t get up to listen to your show. May God Bless You All.

  17. MWcasey1964 on said:

    I justed login to your website and I love listening to your show, but everyday i try to call into the show, but never get through can you say hey to me on your show one morning

  18. DoctorWill on said:

    Sadly, Tom, there is not much new music out there today that will inspire our people to move in unison to a unified objective. Young people like the music of their time but they also love old school. I think that if we wanted to create a movement using music to promote the message, we will have to go back to the 60’s and 70’s when music did just that. I was born a real real junior black militant and I saw the power that music had in fueling the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. I personally believe that record executives have worked hard to make sure that the music of young generations NEVER has that kind of power again. Therefore, we have not had revolutionary style music coming out of the industry since Public Enemy.

    The following is the list I was playing Tom to move people to vote in 2008:
    Revolution – Kirk Franklyn
    Party for your Right to Fight – Public Enemy
    Mighty Mighty – Earth, Wind and Fire
    Fight the Power – Public Enemy
    Fight the Power – Isley Brothers
    Keep on Pushin’ – Curtis Mayfield
    Prophets of Rage – Public Enemy
    It’s the Pride – Isley Brothers
    I’m Black and Proud – James Brown
    That’s the Way It Is – Tu Pac
    Rebel without a Pause – Public Enemy
    Give the People What They Want – O’jays
    Power to the People – Public Enemy
    Cash In Your Face – Stevie Wonder
    Too Black Too Strong – Public Enemy
    No Way – Fred Hammond
    Caravan of Love – Isleys

    That said, I believe the FIRST thing our people need to do is to put their MONEY where their mouth is. They need to click this link http://bit.ly/JNx3Nd and sign up for Barack and Michell’s mailing list. Then they must make a small $3 donation to Obama’s reelection campaign.

    If you don’t have a credit card, you can set up a FREE Paypal account where the ONE-TIME donation can be taken from your bank account and where your bank information will be protected. We cannot just talk about reelecting Obama. In politics MONEY is speech. We have to put our money where our mouth is. Music, mass movement and massive money will keep Barack Obama in the presidency.

  19. jimmyg on said:

    Tom,I agree with you bro.But first we gotta get on that Love train.The music of today seems to say I hate you..Even though,we as a people have survived,big time.If we as a people can,t see this train pulling out,we will continue to flp around like caught fish.Folks,get your butts on the love train.

  20. navi12 on said:

    Teddy Pendergrass sang most of the lead vocals, but the song is generally associated with Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes. If it takes music to motivate us to register and vote in 2012, then we are in bad shape. Perhaps we should check the annuals of history and see what motivated our elders through the years to strive, struggle and finally obtain the right to vote. They probably had their favorite tunes to hum but they came out in the open after the victory was won.

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