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Post-Roe, a look at how old and new protest music reflects political moments

A march protesting the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022 in Portland, Ore.
Mathieu Lewis-Rolland
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A march protesting the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022 in Portland, Ore.

Since the Supreme Court announced the decision to effectively overturn Roe v. Wade on Jun 27, musicians have made their positions on the landmark ruling clear in their words, with their dollars and, of course, through song.

In the wake of dramatic shifts like last week's decision, music from the past can take on new salience. Lyrics land with a renewed weight.

All Things Considered's Ari Shapiro spoke with NPR Music critic Ann Powers and music scholar Shana Redmond about how old and new protest music — including tracks like Nina Simone's "Missippi Goddam" and Anderson .Paak's "Lockdown" — can reflect political moments.

To hear this story, use the audio player at the top of this page. Please be advised that some listeners may find the language featured in this story objectionable.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.
Jonaki Mehta is a producer for All Things Considered. Before ATC, she worked at Neon Hum Media where she produced a documentary series and talk show. Prior to that, Mehta was a producer at Member station KPCC and director/associate producer at Marketplace Morning Report, where she helped shape the morning's business news.