Trump-proof your playlist with 11 resistance-ready protest songs.

Historically, music has played a vital role in American war and resistance movements.

During the Revolutionary War, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and other popular dance songs were sung by both the British soldiers and the American rebels to keep spirits afloat in trying times. This continued throughout history, with songs like the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "God Bless America" motivating troops and civilians during the Civil War and World War I.

But war is never straightforward, and when American involvement in Vietnam escalated, patriotic songs like "The Battle of the Green Berets" were soon outnumbered by protest and anti-war music like Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son," and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas' "I Should Be Proud."


Folk singers Joan Baez and Bob Dylan perform during a civil rights rally in Washington, D.C., in 1963. Photo by Rowland Scherman/National Archive/Newsmakers.

Nearly in tandem, the civil rights movement had protest and resistance music of its own. Generations of artists and performers, inspired by marches, demonstrations, and tragedies during the fight for civil rights, created some of the country's most enduring musical contributions — songs like James Brown's "Say it Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud" and Gil Scott-Heron's spoken-word piece "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised."

James Brown performs at the Olympia hall in Paris. Photo by AFP/Getty Images.

But protest and resistance music didn't end in the 1960s. Now more than ever, we need songs to keep us moving forward.

We need songs that make people want to stand up, speak out, and fight back.

We're facing an unprecedented American political landscape, and there are inexperienced, unpredictable people in charge. It's important to pay attention and speak up against bigotry, ignorance, and policies that affect the most vulnerable.

This is the soundtrack to the resistance. Turn it up. Share it. Let them hear us coming.

Demonstrators protest President Donald Trump's executive order which imposes a freeze on admitting refugees into the United States and a ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries at the international terminal at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

1. Andra Day, "Rise Up"

Warm up with this beautiful, haunting ballad by songstress Andra Day. It may not get your heart racing, but it will get your mind prepared to face a new and uncertain challenge.

Lyric for your protest sign: "All we need, all we need is hope/And for that we have each other"

2. Pharrell Williams, "Runnin'"

If you haven't seen "Hidden Figures," stop what you're doing and go. I'll wait.

OH MY GOODNESS WASN'T IT SO GOOD?! This true story was brought to life on screen with powerhouse performances and a soundtrack of contemporary soul music. This particular song from Pharrell Williams would be at home on black radio in 1963 or 2017, which is a sobering reminder that even though we made it to space, there's still a long way to go.

Lyric for your protest sign: "I don't want no free ride/I'm just sick and tired of runnin'"

3. Isley Brothers, "Fight the Power, Pts. 1 & 2"

A pretty much perfect song about standing up against the powers that be. Ever wonder what you would've done during the civil rights movement? Turn on these songs, go outside, and find out.

Lyric for your protest sign: "When I rolled with the punches/I got knocked on the ground/With all this bullshit going down"

4. K'naan feat. Snow tha Product, Riz MC, and Residente, "Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)"

There are a lot of songs on the "Hamilton" original Broadway cast recording and the subsequent "Hamilton Mixtape" remix and compilation album, but few possess the energy and passion of "Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)."

As President Trump looks to restrict the number of refugees entering America, it's important to remind people of troubling and dangerous circumstances many immigrants and refugees flee in the first place and the difficult journeys they face once they're in America, whether or not they're documented.

Lyric for your protest sign: "It’s America's ghost writers, the credit's only borrowed."

5. Dixie Chicks, "Not Ready to Make Nice"

This song was about the Dixie Chicks' political saga with country radio and outraged fans. (Doesn't that feel downright quaint these days?) It holds up as a pop-country song about refusing to find common ground with ignorance and bigotry. I think of this song every time someone suggests I "give President Trump a chance." Candidate Trump said some awful things about people like the people I love and the people who make this country a great place to live. President Trump seems to be following through on his potentially devastating campaign promises. Forgive and forget? Not when lives and livelihoods are at stake.

Lyric for your protest sign: "I'm still mad as hell and I don't have time to go 'round and 'round and 'round."

6. Kendrick Lamar,  "Alright"

You could hear this song break out at Black Lives Matter demonstrations and marches across the country. This powerful anthem struck a chord at just the right time, a three-and-a-half minute tonic against fear, anguish, and systemic oppression. As Desire Thompson wrote in Vibe, "While listening to it on repeat, I was reminded of the lesson that pain isn’t permanent and getting through the tough times are what make us all stronger."

Lyric for your protest sign: "We gon' be alright"

7. Solange, "F.U.B.U."

We don't deserve two talented, powerful Knowles sisters. But it's younger sister Solange's new album that's been in heavy rotation during this winter of discontent. It's empowering and ethereal, with lyrics covering so many issues on the minds of black women. "F.U.B.U." is an acronym for "for us by us," and this song is just that. Sorry not sorry white folks, this one isn't for you.

Lyric for your protest sign: "All my niggas let the whole world know/Play this song and sing it on your terms/For us, this shit is for us/Don't try to come for us"

8. Marvin Gaye, "Mercy, Mercy, Me (the Ecology)"

Like "Inner City Blues" and "What's Going On?" "Mercy, Mercy Me" is a grim reminder of how little has changed in the last 45 years. That's not a cue to get despondent. That's a cue to get bold. It's a cue to keep pushing, keep tapping into fresh ideas and new approaches, especially when it comes to the environment. As the saying goes, "There is no Planet B." Let's do this.

Lyric for your protest sign: "What about this overcrowded land/How much more abuse from man can she stand?"

9. The "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" theme

It's a 30-second theme song for a show about a woman starting her life over after 15 years in an underground bunker. What's more resistance-ready than that?

Lyric for your protest sign: "'Cause females are strong as hell!"

10. The Pointer Sisters, "Yes We Can Can"

Long before Obama used it to galvanize millions of believers, Allen Tousissant's song of a similar name galvanized people on the dance floor and in the streets. Performed by the Pointer Sisters, the socially conscious funk song reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100, but the timeless classic remains relevant nearly 44 years later.

Lyric for your protest sign: "We got to make this land a better land than the world in which we live/And we got to help each man be a better man with the kindness that we give"

11. Elton John, "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"

I was going to pick "Philadelphia Freedom" for its soaring horns and unintentional bicentennial spirit, but this song felt better for Nazi-punching. Now, I'm not condoning violence, but what you and your fists do to fight fascists is your business.

Lyric for your protest sign: "Saturday night's alright for fighting, get a little action in."

This playlist is just the beginning.

There are countless songs, new and old, that belong on this list. When it comes to music that inspires you to do good and get involved, there are no wrong answers. Pick it out, turn it up, and let's get moving.

Thousands of people gather at City Hall in San Francisco to protest President Trump and to show support for women's rights. Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images.

Most Shared

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture