Bernice Johnson Reagon was a college student in Albany, Georgia, when she participated in Albany’s first civil rights march in 1961. Reagon was known as a soloist in her church choir, so it was no surprise when other marchers turned to her to lead them in song. Carried by the moment, she adapted the words of a well-known spiritual and sang, “Over my head, I see freedom in the air.” The song became a favored anthem of the civil rights movement.
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