“Free At Last” has long been a song of liberation, drawing from the richness of black spirituals. The generations of people who worked in the Civil Rights Movement understood its deepest meanings.

Earlier this week, James "Plunky" Branch played the soprano saxophone in silent tribute at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

This selection continues a survey of songs of the Civil Rights era, leading up to the opening of the Rev. Martin L. King, Jr. memorial. The memorial is now open but the official dedication has been postponed.

Earlier this year the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama performed the song at the White House.