This digital library collection contains images relating to social justice and the music scene of Northeast Ohio. There will soon be further additions to the five images presented, though all will demonstrate the importance of music in attaining the goal of social justice.
Throughout the years, certain genres of music have provided an outlet for those rebelling against the system and demanding social justice. This is particularly true of rock n’ roll from the 1950s onward. Many of the images presented in this series will be scenes of rock n’ roll that best illustrate how music was used to demand a more just system in some way, shape, or form. There will also be comparisons drawn between music and events at the time that made these events truly an act of demanding social justice.
A prime example of this within the collection is the presentation of a concert at a Navy Relief Ball in 1942. America would have entered World War II just a year earlier, fighting an enemy with scary and almost unimaginable social beliefs and values. Music was the catalyst, in this instance, that encouraged relief efforts for the Navy. There are also other examples of this within the collection, such as the dedication of campers to sleep in a tent while waiting for Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young to perform, who famously coined the song “Ohio” in response to the National Guard killing college students protesting the war in Vietnam.
This collection is also meant to demonstrate Cleveland’s role in these events and its importance as a major metropolitan area during this time. While there are collections that focus on local rock history and its importance relating to social justice, this collection aims to develop an understanding of the role that Cleveland, in particular, played in both the related events and in the music scene that was present during the same time period.