The story about the song is that Cooke heard Bob Dylan sing Blowin’ in the Wind (1963), and wrote A Change Is Gonna Come as a response and a call-out, both to Dylan and himself. The way Cooke saw it, a black man should be singing stuff like that, not some white kid from suburbia. By then, Cooke had crossed over from his gospel roots into mainstream success. He owned his own record label and controlled his career. But he lived with the paradoxes of black stardom.