Dancing in the Street, Activist Song

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Mark Kurlansky tells how the song “Dancing in the Street” became an anthem for a changing America. It was released in the summer of 1964—the time of the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the beginning of the Vietnam War, the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and the lead-up to a dramatic election. Kurlansky’s book Ready for a Brand New Beat explains how “Dancing in the Street” became an activist anthem.