Make Them Hear You

By Cheryl Mattox Berry

To people fighting injustice and oppression in the United States and around the world, I heard the perfect song to serve as your anthem when I visited Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis.

The song is “Make Them Hear You.” It’s from the Broadway musical “Ragtime,” which tells the story of three groups in this country in the early 20th century – African-Americans, rich white suburbanites and Eastern European immigrants.

During the church service, three young men sang this beautiful song. Worshippers stood, clapped and pumped their fists. The lyrics echo how many Americans feel these days as hard-fought rights are being erased or challenged under the administration of Donald J. Trump.

My favorite version of “Make Them Hear You” is by one of the Three Mo’ Tenors. His performance can be seen on YouTube at

After you listen to song, read the lyrics, and get fired up and ready to go.

Make Them Hear You
Go out and tell our story.
Let it echo far and wide.
Make them hear you,
Make them hear you.
How justice was our battle
And how justice was denied.
Make them hear you,
Make them hear you.
And say to those who blame us
For the way we chose to fight
That sometimes there are battles
That are more than black or white…
And I could not put down my sword
When justice was my right.
Make them hear you.
Go out and tell our story
To your daughters and your sons.
Make them hear you,
Make them hear you.
And tell them, in our struggle,
We were not the only ones.
Make them hear you,
Make them hear you.
Your sword can be a sermon
Or the power of the pen.
Teach every child to raise his voice
And then, my brothers, then
Will justice be demanded
By ten million righteous men.
Make them hear you.
When they hear you,
I’ll be near you
– Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Music composed by Stephen Flaherty

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