Before the 1960s, if musicians wanted to make a political statement, they might do it with a song. Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" or Frank Sinatra's "The House I Live In" could be issued as commentary, yet still fly under the radar of politics. Today, many artists are expected to take more public and nuanced stands on issues, sometimes to their detriment. Zandria Robinson, sociology professor at Rhodes College, says that today's outspokenness is part of a changing industry, but not unprecedented.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Robinson will lead a free panel discussion called "From '68 to '18: Perspectives on Memphis Music + Activism," with rapper Marco Pave and former Stax producer Al Bell. Click here to learn more.