In a new interview with Rolling Stone, legendary rock and folk musician Bob Dylan spoke up about America's troubled history of slavery. The American icon said that the United States may never be able to get rid of the shame of being "founded on the backs of slaves."

The full Rolling Stone article has not yet gone to print (it hits newsstands Friday), but snippets of the interview have appeared in an Associated Press story describing Dylan's profound sense of shame at America's history of slavery.

Dylan laments that "people (are) at each other's throats just because they are of a different color," adding that "it will hold any nation back." Because many whites "didn't want to give up slavery," Dylan says, the nation is still extremely racially divided.

While Dylan gave the interview to promote his latest album, "Tempest," the interview seems to focus more on his social views. "Tempest" is expected to address many of these issues as well.

The 71-year-old Dylan also said the Civil War's bloody legacy only contributes to America's current racial problems and public perception. "If slavery had been given up in a more peaceful way, America would be far ahead today," Dylan said.

When asked if President Barack Obama's election was helping move the nation into a better place, Dylan replied, "I don't have any opinion on that. You have to change your heart if you want to change."

Dylan is no stranger to discussing social problems. His best-known protest anthems of the 1960s addressed social injustices in America and called for a change to come within the hearts and minds of Americans.