Film Clips

Sam Cooke: A Change is Gonna Come

Film clip. Voices of a People's History.
Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" (1964), is performed by Allison Moorer.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Art & Music, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights

Lyricist, singer, and entrepreneur Sam Cooke. Photo:

Sam Cooke was a singer and composer. As an entrepreneur he founded a record label and publishing company back when many black performers and composers were at the mercy of record companies that would treat them unfairly by not paying them or recognizing their talents. Sam Cooke also played an active role in the Civil Rights Movement. Cooke penned “A Change is Gonna Come” as a protest song. It was released after his mysterious death and became a top 40 hit.

Film clip description

Sam Cooke, “A Change Is Gonna Come” (1964), is performed by Allison Moorer, May 2, 2007, at The Great Hall at Cooper Union, New York, NY. The excerpt is from Voices of a People’s History of the United States edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove.

More video clips can be found at the Voices of a People’s History website and in the film The People Speak.

Allison Moorer performs Sam Cooke, “A Change Is Gonna Come” (1964) from Voices of a People’s History on Vimeo.