Mavis Staples is an American Gospel and soul singer who rose to fame by being a part of her family’s band, the Staples Singers. She is also quite the civil rights activist, she even had the opportunity to sing for Martin Luther King Jr. Mavis began singing with her family at age 10 all the way throughout her education. In the Chicago Daily Defender, Staples is regarded as “another voice that ranks with Aretha’s.” 1
Since debuting her first solo album in 1969 ‘Mavis Staples,’ she has since then recorded 14 albums under the genre: rhythm and blues along with gospel. It can be argued that ‘You Are Not Alone’ is one of Staples’ most popular songs. “‘You Are Not Alone’ is a track to someone who has lost a loved one. It’s a song to someone who has lost a relationship or a friend. It’s a song to someone experiencing hardship – to someone deep in depression or dismay. It’s a reminder that you are not alone.” 2
Mavis Staples and the Staples Singers served an important role during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. The music they produced during this time were filled with powerful messages about equality. In other words, Mavis Staples’ music consistently reflects her standpoint on social justice matters, we should regard her as true activist of her time. It should be noted that her messages of equality, inequality, hope, and freedom extends way beyond on the musical world.
1Casey, Larry. 1968. “Mavis Staples another Aretha.” Chicago Daily Defender (Big Weekend Edition) (1966-1973), Nov 09, 28. https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/mavis-staples-another-aretha/docview/493488685/se-2.