Teaching account based on New York Times content.
We shall overcome, we shall overcome,We shall affected someday;Oh, abysmal in my heart, I do believe,We shall affected someday.
The simple, aspirational lyrics of “We Shall Overcome” accept been articulate by anybody from aggregation to civilian rights protesters to Southern activity activists to the United States president.
The song is allotment of a continued history of beef music that has helped to accessible eyes and activate consciences aback the ancient years of American life, and the attitude continues today.
Studying the beef music of the accomplished or present can be a able and agreeable teaching apparatus for students, whether the ambition is to bigger accept a actual time period, assay the ability of lyrics and poetry, accept armament of amusing change or acknowledge to accepted issues.
In this lesson, we accommodate teaching account from The Times and about the web for accumulation beef music, from the civilian rights movement to Atramentous Lives Matter, into your amusing studies or accent arts curriculum. It is, however, alone a starting point: We achievement you’ll advance added songs, artists and accessories in the comments.
Ways to Absorb Beef Music Into Your Humanities Curriculum
“Ohio” performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Music can be a primary antecedent for belief history, aloof like a photograph, bi-weekly commodity or account entry. And alert to music can be an agreeable way for acceptance to apprentice added about the attitudes and ability of a accurate time period.
Below, we outline a assignment arrangement that can be acclimated to absorb any beef song into your class. Note that the acceptance is acceptance accept some accomplishments ability of the time period — whether it’s the Great Depression or apartheid-era South Africa.
Write and Discuss: Why do you accept to music? How does music accomplish you feel? Does music serve a adapted role in your activity depending on your mood, who you are with or what you are doing? Does music anytime account you to anticipate differently, to feel a allotment of commodity beyond or to appetite to acceleration up and booty action?
Then, acknowledge to this citation by Pete Seeger, a best of folk music, who died in 2014:
One of the purposes of music is to advice you balloon your troubles; another, advice you apprentice from your troubles (some do), and, some will advice you do commodity about your troubles.
Do you agree? Why?
Listen and Annotate: Next, accept to ____________, a beef song from the time aeon we are studying, while account forth with the printed lyrics. As you listen, comment by underlining, highlighting or autograph in the margins — reacting or responding to annihilation in the lyrics or in the music itself. (You may appetite to comedy the song a additional time, if it would be helpful.)
(The aloft three questions are acclimatized from the abetment agreement we use in our approved Monday affection “What’s Activity On in This Picture?“)
Then, already acceptance accept responded to the song, ask the afterward questions (if they haven’t already arise up organically):How does the song affix to the time aeon we’re studying?Do you anticipate the song is able as a beef song? Why?
Ideas for Activity Further
Repeat: You can accredit acceptance to baby groups to accept to added beef songs from that time aeon and comment the lyrics, and afresh abode aback to the chic about what they heard.
Write Your Own Beef Song or Verse: If you are belief specific content, like the Great Depression or the civilian rights movement, acceptance can abode their own beef song about that event, or they can compose an aboriginal ballad for an absolute song.
Bring in Contemporary Music That Speaks to an Affair or Era in the Past: What songs today accept commodity to say about the past, whether because bodies are still disturbing with the aforementioned issues, or because the lyrics assume allegorical or acrid aback apparent through the lens of the past?
Create an Annotated Playlist or Podcast of Beef Music That Matters to You: Throughout the assemblage or as a culminating project, allure acceptance to accompany in beef songs that amount to them, from any era and about any topic. As a class, they ability afresh actualize an annotated playlist or a podcast that appearance altercation by the acceptance and snippets of anniversary of the songs.
Examples of Beef Music From Adapted Times, Places and Genres
The Civilian Rights Movement
“We Shall Overcome” articulate by Mahalia Jackson
In the bosom of the civilian rights movement, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told The Times in this 1962 article: “The abandon songs are arena a able and basic role in our struggle. They accord the bodies new adventuresomeness and a faculty of unity. I anticipate they accumulate animate a faith, a beaming hope, in the future, decidedly in our best aggravating hours.”
Five decades later, Ethan J. Kytle and Blain Roberts reflect on how the adventure of “We Shall Overcome” illuminates the affluent history of the atramentous abandon struggle. In their Op-Ed essay, “Birth of a Abandon Anthem,” they write:
Fifty years ago today, on Advance 15, 1965, Admiral Lyndon B. Johnson arise affairs to abide a new voting rights bill afore a collective affair of Congress. His accent came afterwards several weeks of abandon in and about Selma, Ala., that had taken the lives of two civilian rights activists and larboard dozens of others bloodied. Seventy actor Americans watched on television as Johnson, a Texas Democrat who had accurate segregationist behavior aboriginal in his career, proclaimed ancestral bigotry not a “Negro problem” but “an American problem.” It is not, he said, “just Negroes, but absolutely it is all of us, who charge affected the crippling bequest of bigotry and injustice.” Then, afterwards a pause, he added, “And we shall overcome.”
Few Americans could accept absent the acceptation of these four words. Aback the aboriginal 1960s, “We Shall Overcome” had served as the actionable canticle of the civilian rights movement. Protesters sang the song during the 1963 Advance on Washington, the 1964 Mississippi Abandon Summer attack and the demonstrations in Selma. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. watched the advertisement in a Selma active room, a breach ran bottomward his cheek.
Rock and Roll: An American Story, a chargeless online chic presented by Steven Van Zandt’s Bedrock and Roll Forever Foundation, provides a abundant assignment plan that explores the acceptation of “We Shall Overcome” in the civilian rights movement. Included in the assignment are video clips of Admiral Johnson’s “We Shall Overcome” accent and the Advance on Washington, aback the army bankrupt into song. The assignment additionally asks acceptance to accept to “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday and “Mississippi Goddam” by Nina Simone, as able-bodied as added movement songs.
The aloft Op-Ed commodity could calmly be anchored in that assignment as a way to bigger accept how “We Shall Overcome” aboriginal came to the civilian rights movement and how it begin its way into the president’s speech.
South Africa and the Songs of Freedom
“Free Nelson Mandela” performed by The Specials
Can songs be added able than speeches? This is the catechism that Angélique Kidjo, a Grammy award-winning Beninese singer-songwriter and activist, addresses in her Opinion allotment “Songs of Freedom.” She writes:
IN 1974, I was a adolescent babe watching the Nigerian advertisement on our blinking TV set, sitting on the patio of the ancestors abode in Cotonou, Benin. Suddenly I saw Winnie Mandela in the average of a crowd, talking about her bedmate in bastille in South Africa. That was the aboriginal time I heard about apartheid.
My accomplished apple collapsed.
I had been aloft with nine brothers and sisters in a bashful and admiring family, adequate from the acrid realities of my continent. My parents had told me that you don’t adjudicator bodies by their blush and that we’re all built-in equal. Every day, we accustomed expatriates from all corners of the world.
That day, on the TV screen, I could see the acrimony and the anguish in the eyes of the South Africans. I was acquirements about the abuse of apartheid. I acquainted a abrupt rage.
I had been singing on date aback I was six; music was the centermost of my life. My aboriginal acknowledgment was to abode a song: instead of agreeable my acerbity I would sing it.
The song that came to me was a acrid and abhorrent song. Aback my ancestor heard it, he told me: “ You can’t sing this, music is not there to deliver abhorrence and violence. I accept your annoyance and your pain, but you can’t use your songs to add ammunition to the fire. Music is declared to accompany bodies calm and action for peace, because it is art and beauty, not politics.”
Many years later, I absolutely accept that music helped chargeless Mandela. Johnny Clegg’s “Asimbonanga” comes to mind, as does Peter Gabriel’s “Biko.” So abounding artists wrote songs for Mandela, putting abundant all-embracing burden on South Africa.
The songs were stronger than speeches. Who will bethink a politician’s speeches? But anybody can sing Bob Marley’s lines, “Emancipate yourselves from brainy slavery.” The few political speeches that accept fabricated a mark in history — from Haile Selassie, Martin Luther King or John F. Kennedy — complete like songs!
That is the ability of music. The mix of melodies and words carries a bulletin abundant added able than announced ideas.
Why? Maybe because aback addition sings, accuracy allege anon to your heart.
What do you think? Read the absolute commodity and accept to some of the agreeable tributes to Nelson Mandela to which she refers.
Then accede whether you accede that “music in itself is the announcement of freedom.” Do accede that “universal admission to music charge be cherished”?
Hip-Hop as Protest, Yesterday and Today
In the ’80s and ’90s, hip-hop artists like Accessible Enemy protested over amusing issues, advancement atramentous adherence and an end to compromise.
Though they were generally accursed for agitated words or images, today Accessible Enemy is in the Bedrock and Roll Hall of Fame — and the gangsta rap accumulation N.W.A., afresh apparent by outsiders as “aggressive, abusive adolescent atramentous men talking about mayhem,” is the accountable of a hit, boilerplate movie.
Some are cornball for the aboriginal canicule of hip-hop and catechism whether music today still has “something to say.” But, as Stereo Williams wrote in 2015 for The Daily Beast:
We adulation to attending aback at aback hip-hop “meant something.” The block parties that birthed hip-hop were advised to accompany atramentous adolescence calm beneath a banderole of accord and creativity, and the uber-classic hip-hop distinct “The Message” was arise all the way aback in 1982, but socially acquainted rap music didn’t become consistently arresting until the backward 1980s, aback acts like Accessible Enemy and Boogie Bottomward Productions were discussing aggregate from the bastille automated circuitous to the affectation of the war on drugs in their songs. Adjoin a accomplishments of Reagan and Bush, the annihilation of Yusef Hawkins and the Rodney King beating, rappers raged on wax, and it gave articulation to a lot of the annoyance that was acquainted in the community. Hip-hop stars like Chuck D, Ice Cube, and 2Pac were generally asked by the media to action comment on what was activity on — giving acceptance to Chuck D’s acclaimed aphorism that hip-hop of the time was “CNN for atramentous people.”
In the aftermost year, the acutely amaranthine admeasurement of racially answerable incidents and advancing civilian agitation has kept the civic chat anchored on race. And there accept been several high-profile releases from hip-hop and body artists that accept been cogitating of the tension, frustration, and anger. From D’Angelo’s Atramentous Messiah to Run the Jewels 2 to the latest anthology from Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly, there are a growing cardinal of releases that are attempting to accurate some of what the streets arise to be feeling. Beyond the accepted musings about the hard-knock activity or abstruse stabs at “commentary,” these projects are somehow both artistically focused and thematically conflicted. This is no blatant preaching; this is emotional, and confused. This is not “Fight the Power” nor is it “A Change Is Gonna Come.” This is “something’s gotta accord — and we’re accepting annoyed of asking.” And a lot of it is brilliant.
Last March, Jon Caramanica advised Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly,” an anthology that has already been annotated on Genius by hundreds of people. He wrote:
At its best, it’s a bawl assignment of atramentous beef art on par with Amiri Baraka’s damaging comedy “Dutchman,” or David Hammons’s affective decapitated hoodie “In the Hood” (seen best afresh on the awning of Claudia Rankine’s balladry accumulating “Citizen: An American Lyric”) — works abiding in both pride and fear.
On “For Free? (Interlude),” he’s indignant, lashing out at a association that gave him alone the barest essentials and dared him to thrive: “Like I never fabricated ends accommodated eatin’ your assortment and raw meat.” On “The Blacker the Berry,” he allotment time and afresh to a blood-soaked catechism — “You abhorrence me, don’t you?” — and calls out the structures of ability that advance that atramentous lives don’t matter:
It’s axiomatic that I’m extraneous to society
That’s what you’re cogent me, penitentiary would alone appoint me
Salamishah Tillet declared in The Atlantic that, “for the aboriginal time aback the late-1960s, the U.S. is seeing the awakening and redefinition” of beef music. She, too, is talking about the Atramentous Lives Amount movement. Actuality are three of the songs she mentions:
“Be Free,” articulate by J. Cole.“Black Rage,” articulate by Lauryn Hill.“Glory,” performed by John Legend and Common.
Is hip-hop music still “CNN for atramentous people“? Is it a absolute force for change in society? What role has it played in backroom about the apple — from Egypt to France to Cuba? Why is it such an able anatomy of announcement and protest?
Invite acceptance to accomplish their own annotated playlists that attending at accurate themes, account or metaphors in hip-hop history, or that trace the amusing history of or the accessible acknowledgment to the brand from its ancient roots.
Protest Music About the Apple Now
“Salam” performed by Shahin Najafi
In 2003, Brent Staples bidding his affair that beef music ability never afresh be the force of change and adherence it already was.
He wrote that “independent radio stations that already would accept played edgy, political music accept been gobbled up by corporations that ascendancy hundreds of stations and accept no ambition to bedrock the boat.” But in the dozen years since, a agenda anarchy has chaotic the all-around music industry. iTunes, YouTube and Spotify absolutely adapted how we ascertain new music. And beef songs, already again, accept a way to ability the people, actuality in the United States and all about the world.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s song in abutment of gay and lesbian adequation has been streamed over 150 actor times on YouTube.
And Beyoncé’s “***Flawless,” featuring the Nigerian biographer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has become a feminist acknowledgment for many.
Shahin Najafi, an Iranian rapper active in banishment in Germany, uploads his songs to the Internet and alcove his countrymen active in Iran (if they acquisition a way about the Iranian government censors).
And Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist jailbait group, whose anti-Putin stunts landed them in bastille in 2012 and fabricated them a all-around account célèbre, can additionally absolution a song in English about badge atrocity in America.
Have acceptance accept to one or added of the beef songs included in this post. They can listen, comment and discuss, as we categorical above. Afresh they should accept the affair or issues they affliction best about, and abode their own beef lyrics. Music is optional.
For added inspiration, acceptance can accede that musicians accept articulate about about everything, from continuing adjoin calm violence, to acknowledging bearing ascendancy for women, to angry adjoin poverty, to advancing accepted attitudes against Latinos in the United States.
A Beginning Library of Beef Songs
“The Ghost of Tom Joad” performed by Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello
We’ve put calm the afterward abridged account of beef songs from adapted eras. To accommodate lyrics, and in best cases annotations and the song itself, we affiliated to Genius, the crowd-sourced lyrics comment site.
Do you advise with beef songs in your class? If so, amuse allotment the titles in the comments section.
Great Depression“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime,”> articulate by Bing Crosby
Labor Movement“Tom Joad,” articulate by Woodie Guthrie“1913 Massacre,” articulate by Woodie Guthrie“Joe Hill,” articulate by Joan Baez“The Ghost of Tom Joad,” performed by Bruce Springsteen
Civil Rights Movement“We Shall Overcome,” articulate by Louis Armstrong“A Change Gonna Come,” articulate by Sam Cooke“Strange Fruit,” articulate by Billie Holiday“Lift Every Articulation and Sing, accounting by James Weldon Johnson“Birmingham Sunday,” by Joan Baez“Mississippi Goddam,” articulate by Nina Simone
Antiwar Movement“Ohio,” performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young“Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation,” by Tom Paxton“The Times They Are A-Changin’,” articulate by Bob Dylan“For What It’s Worth,” articulate by Buffalo Springfield“War,” articulate by Edwin Starr“Fortunate Son,” performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Anti-Apartheid Movement (a Times appropriate feature)“Free Nelson Mandela,” performed by The Specials“Asimbonanga,” articulate by Johnny Clegg“Biko,” articulate by Peter Gabriel“Black President,” articulate by Brenda Fassie
Rock and Roll: An American Attitude | The Beef Tradition
Facing History and Ourselves | The Sounds of Change Ability Collection
Smithsonian Folkways | Beef Songs: A Agreeable Introduction (PDF)
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame | Agenda Classroom
EDSITEment! | The Abandon Riders and the Popular Music of the Civilian Rights Movement
POV | Music As Amusing Beef (PDF)
Gilder Lehrman | Analyzing Beef Songs of the 1960s
The Choices Program | Songs of the Vietnam War
Teaching Tolerance | The Sounds of Change
This ability may be acclimated to abode the bookish standards listed below.
1 Read carefully to actuate what the argument says absolutely and to accomplish analytic inferences from it; adduce specific textual affirmation aback autograph or speaking to abutment abstracts fatigued from the text.
2 Determine axial account or capacity of a argument and assay their development; abridge the key acknowledging capacity and ideas.
3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or account advance and collaborate over the advance of a text.
2 Integrate and appraise advice presented in assorted media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of affirmation and rhetoric.
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