Black Art, namely Black music, embodies the most influential and ubiquitous political socialization agent among average citizens. As Walton (1985) contends, the “African American political socialization was different from that of whites and that the process has at least three steps, including resocialization as well as counter socialization” (55). The existing literature suggests that music functions as a vehicle of expression in Black culture, public opinion, race, identity, and gender (Rose 1994; Ibrahim 1999; Bennett 2000; Bonnette 2015). Such an assumption can lead to critical questions regarding the relationship of Black music to politics: (1) Does Black music also influence political attitudes and preferences? (2) Can Black artists engage in activism to shape policy outcomes? If so, then the influence of Black music and artistry on political behavior appears to have been more significant than what Holden (1966), Walton (1985), and Walker (1991) believed. In this study, I utilized a descriptive textual analysis and archival documents of the song “Happy Birthday,” written by Stevie Wonder, his subsequent tour, rally, and testimony that aided in the passage of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr holiday. In addition, I explored the origins of artists who engage in activism by examining literature that connects Stevie Wonder’s efforts to Black social movements. Finally, this study provides insights into the future intersection of musical genres found within the Black community (e.g., rap and pop music) and social movements.

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