The Sound of Activism

As a young musician, Fredara Hadley was classically trained on piano and viola but found her ear bending toward jazz and pop. That led her to examine the ways in which black music fosters community among people of all backgrounds. Music, Hadley has found, is the great cultural equalizer. It’s also a powerful tool for activism, which she teaches in her ethnomusicology courses.

“You are here to refine your technical abilities, but also to find your voice,” she says. “Your voice can be angry. It can be defiant. It can be sad. It can be joyful. When you are committed to finding your voice, almost anything can have that resonance.”

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Photograph by Jennifer Manna