‘We had been beat down a lot’: the story behind 60s protest anthem Dancing in the Street

Martha Reeves discusses the making of and the political impact of a Motown hit that became the unintentional soundtrack to a tumultuous time in America

A few weeks ago, the Motown singer Martha Reeves went to her first protest march since this historic wave began. “I saw people from everywhere, walking together in peace,” she told the Guardian. “They weren’t rioting, or beating, or fighting, but walking together in harmony.

“Some were even doing line dances!” she said. “They were actually dancing in the street. And it’s about time.”

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‘We had been beat down a lot’: the story behind 60s protest anthem Dancing in the Street