10. The Roots - "Can't Turn Me Round"
We may have a black president, but America is still an institutionally racist nation. The struggle for justice continues to this day, so it's a good thing the Roots are here to remind us of the past and help lead us into the future.
9. Sam Cooke - "A Change Is Gonna Come"
When Sam Cooke walked away from the gospel band he fronted, the Soul Stirrers, he crooned his way into America's pop charts with a hit called "You Send Me." But with "A Change Is Gonna Come," he dug into the very soul of the nation and delivered greater truth than any court.
8. James Brown - "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud"
One of the greatest singers and band leaders in the history of American music gave the world one of the funkiest positive affirmations in recorded sound at a time when it was dangerous to say what he was saying, and he did so fearlessly.
7. Nina Simone - "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free"
Anybody at all can relate to the sentiments expressed in this song, which helped it resonate with the masses in a way that propelled the activist movement to the forefront of the nation's consciousness.