PITTSBURG — Songs throughout United States’ history have connected people and brought problems to the forefront of Americans’ consciousness — whether it be abolition, civil rights, economic injustice or anti-war.
The Pittsburg Public Library’s theme for its summer adult and children reading programs is “Build a Better World.”
Throughout the summer, the Pittsburg Public Library has hosted activities and workshops for children and adults centering around this theme.
Build a Better World Through Music: Protest Songs Over the Years will be presented by Pittsburg State University Philosophy Professor Don Viney on at 2 p.m. Sunday in the library’s meeting room. The program is free and open to the public.
“This will be an exploration into the role of music in changing things for the better,” PPL Librarian Carol Ann Robb said.
Over the years, Viney has been inspired by the music of the 1960s and 1970s, and on Sunday will sing his rendition of these songs, from artists like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan.
“I grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s and listened to Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, you name it,” Viney said.
Viney will also sing songs from the movement in 1950s and 1960s.
“The music during these times were right in the middle of the civil rights movement,” he said. “Some of these songs may be lesser known.”
Viney said he plans to share some of his own songs — which he will announce during the event — and hopes people will sing along to the songs they know.
“Protest songs should not just be negative — they need to be positive,” Viney said. “They need to be the vision of what the country values the most.”

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.