Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 14

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

LESSON PLAN LESSON 3: SONGS

LESSON PLAN

Case Study: Black Identity


Lesson Objectives: Students will review songs with messages about black identity.

Audio Clip

Students will recognize the power of words to transmit a message to a listening audience. Students will analyze the use of performance techniques to enhance interest.

Vocabulary:
Medgar Evers, Lorriane Hansberry, Whitney Young, Roy Wilkins

Media:
Say it Loud, Im Black and Im Proud (1:24) To Be Young, Gifted, and Black (1:38) Living for the City (1:54) The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (1:26)

Materials Needed:
Eight-page Teacher Guide Four song excerpts Four-page student worksheet

Time: 50 minutes Lesson Procedures:


1. Present the Lesson Introduction to the class. 2. Distribute student worksheets for logging the songs. 3. Play the songs while students log their answers. 4. Lead students through a decoding of the songs using the Media Sample Questions and Answers. 5. Discuss the power of words and sound to communicate messages in Further Questions.

281

282

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

TEACHER GUIDE LESSON 3: SONGS

TEACHER GUIDE

Case Study: Black Identity


1. Organize and make copies for the class activities. 2. Introduce the lesson:

Audio Clips

Lesson Introduction
In the 1960s and 70s, the black freedom movement advanced through cultural expressions of African American or black identity. These wide-ranging expressions, including Afro hairstyles, African dashikis, and black power salutes, became a way to move beyond prior identities as Negro or colored. They helped build new a selfawareness rooted in a pride of African descent and in the consciousness of blackness. Muhammad Ali proclaimed, I am the greatest. Stokely Carmichael called from the speakers platform, Black is Beautiful. Aretha Franklin sang about respect. Alex Haley wrote the story of the search for his African ancestry in the bestseller Roots, an exploration of his familys struggles to survive through the extraordinary challenges of slavery, reconstruction, and Jim Crow segregation. The black pride movement was a direct reaction to the crippling legacy of slavery and to centuries of African Americans being told in hundreds of different ways that they were inferior to whites. Popular music was a particular arena in which messages about racial identity could reverberate throughout the culture. By the early 1970s, the separation between R&B and rock music within the music business was dissolving through the crossover appeal of artists like Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix, and Otis Redding, who performed for mass audiences of white as well as black listeners. As you listen to these song fragments, consider the changing cultural context when they were first written and performed. Try to imagine the impact they might have had in the years immediately following the boycotts and sit-ins of the southern freedom movement and during the time of the stirring rhetoric of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Consider the messages about the realities of black life and the promises and challenges of black pride.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Distribute the student worksheets. Have students work individually or in pairs to log each song. Read aloud the brief introductory excerpt before playing each song. Play the song excerpt. Have students write their answers on their worksheet after the playing of each excerpt. Lead a discussion of the songs using the suggested teacher answers below as a guide.

283

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

TEACHER GUIDE LESSON 3: SONGS

Say it Loud, Im Black and Im Proud James Brown, 1968

Song 1 Introduction

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, was a superstar whose songwriting took a turn toward self-awareness of black identity with songs like Blackenized and How You Gonna Get Respect When You Havent Cut Your Process Yet? His number one hit, Say it Loud, Im Black and Im Proud, includes the voices of thirty children recruited from the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles with payments of ten dollars and a James Brown album (Rhodes 49).

Media Sample Questions & Answers


1) What is the songwriters message about the realities of African American life in the U.S.? Give evidence for your answer. 2) What does the songwriter propose as a means to support African American life and identity? 3) How do the performer and producer summon interest in the subject matter of the song? Possible Answer: Black peoples mistreatment at the hands of white employers has caused frustration and a determination for change summarized in the last line: Were tired of beating our heads against the wall and working for someone else. Possible Answer: The song offers an affirmation of black identity (Say it loud, Im black and Im proud) coupled with a determination to press demands for justice (We deserve Get our share Demand a chance do for ourselves.). Possible Answer: James Brown shouts in his clear and insistent voice over the pulse of the horns and rhythm section. The childrens chorus singing, Im black and Im proud, follows his lead, Say it Loud, much as a church choir might use a call and response form to accentuate a message.

284

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

TEACHER GUIDE LESSON 3: SONGS

To Be Young, Gifted, and Black Nina Simone, 1969


Song 2 Introduction
Nina Simone, the high priestess of soul, was both a star in the popular music world and a political activist. She wrote songs like Mississippi Goddam when she was twenty years old to protest the murder of NAACP leader Medgar Evers. Of her struggles to integrate activism into her music, she said: I have two strikes against me. Im a woman, which is a huge disadvantage in the music business, and Im a black who performs protest songs. That, of course, has been my choice, because I represent all black people of America and the Third World (Swartley 32). Like many other jazz and blues artists, Simone chose to emigrate to France to escape the racism she experienced in the U.S. This song was written by Simone in honor of her friend, playwright Lorraine Hansberry, who was working on a play of this title at the time of her death (Simone 88).

Media Sample Questions & Answers


1) What is the songwriters message about the realities of African American life in the U.S.? Give evidence for your answer. 2) What does the songwriter propose as a means to support African American life and identity? Possible Answer: Young African Americans have not been affirmed in the past as declared in the lines, You are young, gifted, and black / We must begin to tell our young. Possible Answer: Simone offers affirmation of the power of being young, gifted, and black as repeated in the title line. She recognizes that overcoming sadness requires the recognition of black empowerment for young people, and in the process reclaiming an intact soul as demonstrated in the last verse: When you feel really low / Yeah, there's a great truth that you should know / When you're young, gifted, and black / Your soul's intact. Possible Answer: Simones lead vocals engage in call and response with the background choir as might happen in a gospel rendition in church. This gives the song a feel of collective power and wisdom. The vocal accentuation of the words black, where its at, and fact, followed by a brief pause, gives power to these words, making this a statement of declared truth. Simones volume increases slightly as she sings the title line, keeping the main point of the song as the centerpiece for the listener.

3) How do the performer and producer summon interest in the subject matter of the song?

285

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

TEACHER GUIDE LESSON 3: SONGS

Living for the City Stevie Wonder, 1973

Song 3 Introduction

Stevie Wonder released this song on his album Innervisions. Living for the City stayed at number one on the R&B charts for two weeks and peaked at number eight on the pop charts. The song hit the airwaves two years after Martin Gayes songs Whats Going On and Inner City Blues, which explored similar themes. During his 1974 concert tour, Wonder often closed his performances with a live rendition of this song (Griffin 94). The first three verses of the song introduce a young man born in hard time Mississippi whose parents give him love and affection / to keep him strong, moving in the right direction / They give him just enough, just enough, for the city. You will hear the final part of the song as the young man leaves Mississippi for New York.

Media Sample Questions & Answers


1) What is the songwriters message about the realities of African American life in the U.S.? Give evidence for your answer. Possible Answer: For migrants to the city, urban life brings crime (the hustler sending him across the street), police brutality (Get in that cell, N-----), and the injustice of the court system (a jury of your peers having found you guilty, ten years). For African Americans walking the streets of New York City, urban life brings illness (almost dead from breathing in air pollution), political disenfranchisement (He tried to vote but to him theres no solution), sadness, and cruelty (I hope you hear inside my voice of sorrow / This place is cruel nowhere could be much colder). Possible Answer: Wonder offers a generic suggestion to motivate you to make a better tomorrow since if we don't change the world will soon be over. Possible Answer: Stevie Wonder uses spoken word storytelling in the first part, an uncommon convention in the years prior to hip-hop, to continue the story of the young migrants arrival in New York. Dramatic tension is sustained with the presentation of different character voices and sound effects (bus acceleration, police sirens, jail cell door) followed by Wonders strong and ragged voice and the discord of the background voices.

2) What does the songwriter propose as a means to support African American life and identity? 3) How do the performer and producer summon interest in the subject matter of the song?

286

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

TEACHER GUIDE LESSON 3: SONGS

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Gil Scott-Heron, 1974

Song 4 Introduction

Gil Scott-Heron has been considered one of the spoken-word poets who most influenced the hip-hop movement. At the time of the release of his first album in 1970, Scott-Heron wrote: I am a Black man dedicated to expression, expression of the joy and pride of Blackness. I consider myself neither poet, composer, or musician. These are merely tools used by sensitive men to carve out a piece of beauty or truth that they hope may lead to peace and salvation (Tesser). Whitney Young of the Urban League and Roy Wilkins of the NAACP were civil rights leaders who were sometimes criticized by others from being too moderate in their approach to change.

Media Sample Questions & Answers


1) What is the songwriters message about the realities of African American life in the U.S.? Give evidence for your answer. Possible Answer: Black life is marked by police brutality (pigs shooting down Brothers), pretentious civil rights leaders (Whitney Young being run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process and Roy Wilkins strolling through Watts in a red, black, and green liberation jumpsuit), and invisibility on the mainstream media (many examples of television programs, news, musicians, and TV commercials without references to black people). Possible Answer: Scott-Heron suggests the revolution will bring hope to black people in the streets, looking for a brighter day and will put you (African Americans) in the drivers seat. Possible Answer: Scott-Heron raps in a clear and fast cadence with an insistent flute in the background. He repeats certain lines for emphasis, drawing listeners in as he makes his way to the concluding punch line, the revolution will be live.

2) What does the songwriter propose as a means to support African American life and identity? 3) How do the performer and producer summon interest in the subject matter of the song?

287

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

TEACHER GUIDE LESSON 3: SONGS

FURTHER QUESTIONS FURTHER QUESTIONS Compare the first two songs with the last two, listening for differences in message and style. Discuss how the historical context of the late sixties versus that of the midseventies impacted the writing of these songs. Discuss how black gospel music influenced the style and performance of these songs. Does popular culture reflect the social and cultural identities present within the time period it is produced? What contemporary songs represent the cultural identities of African American people today and of youth? Would you consider any of these songs to be revolutionary in their message today? How about when they were first produced? Which songs hold up best over time? Which seem old fashioned? Why? Discuss the role of identity politics in social justice movements today. Discuss what Gil Scot-Heron might have meant by his phrase, the revolution will not be televised.

CONNECTIONS
U1 #2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 16, 20; U2 #3, 10, 12, 14, 16; U3 #2, 13, 16, 17, 21; U4 #2, 6, 10, 14, 16-18; U5 #3-11; 17-23; U6 #2, 4, 5, 9, 13, 16; U7 #2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11-16; U8 #13-15; U2 L3; U4 L2, U4 L3; U5 L2 U5 L3; U6 L3; U7 L2, U7 L3; U8 L3 (Identity) U1 #10, 11, 16; U2 #14, 17; U3 #16; U4 #3, 5; U5 #8, 20, 21; U6 #9; U7 #16; U8 #13, 16; U1 L2; U2 L2; U4 L2, U4 L3; U5 L2, U5 L3; U7 L2, U7 L3 (Youth Audience) U1 #7-9, 12, 14-18, 20; U2 #6-8, 14, 15, 18; U3 #10, 15, 18, 20, 21; U4 #2, 3, 5-14, 16, 17; U5 #7, 8, 16; U6 #7, 10, 15; U1 L2, U1 L3; U2 L2, U2 L3; U3, L2, U3 L3; U4 L2, U4 L3; U7 L2 (Civil Disobedience & Direct Action)

288

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

TEACHER GUIDE LESSON 3: SONGS

LYRIC SHEET

SONG 1 Say it Loud, Im Black and Im Proud Composed and performed by James Brown, 1968 Uh, with your bad self Say it louder (I got a mouth) (2x) Look a'here, some people say we got a lot of malice Some say it's a lotta nerve I say we won't quit moving Til we get what we deserve We've been buked and we've been scorned We've been treated bad, talked about As sure as you're born But just as sure as it take Two eyes to make a pair, huh Brother, we can't quit until we get our share Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud (3x) I've worked on jobs with my feet and my hands But all the work I did was for the other man And now we demands a chance To do things for ourselves Were tired of beating our heads against the wall And working for someone else Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud (4x)

SONG 2 To Be Young, Gifted, and Black Composed and performed by Nina Simone, 1969 To be young, gifted and black, Oh what a lovely precious dream To be young, gifted and black, Open your heart to what I mean In the whole world you know There s a million boys and girls Who are young, gifted and black, And that's a fact! You are young, gifted and black We must begin to tell our young Theres a world waiting for you Yours is the quest that's just begun When you feel really low Yeah, there's a great truth that you should know When you're young, gifted and black Your soul's intact

289

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

TEACHER GUIDE LESSON 3: SONGS

LYRIC SHEET

SONG 3 Living for the City Composed and performed by Stevie Wonder, 1973 SPOKEN: Bus going to New York City. Hey, bus driver, Im getting on there, hold it. Wow, New York, just like I pictured it. Skyscrapers, n everything. Hey, hey brother, you look hip, man. You want to make yourself five bucks man? Run this across the street for me right quick. Hey, what? Huh? I didnt know. Im just going across the street. Whatd I Do? Turn around, put your hands behind your back A jury of your peers having found you guilty Ten years. Cmon, get in that cell n-----, God. SUNG: His hair is long, his feet are hard and gritty He spends his life walking the streets of New York City He's almost dead from breathing in air pollution He tried to vote but to him there's no solution Living just enough, just enough for the city I hope you hear inside my voice of sorrow And that it motivates you to make a better tomorrow This place is cruel nowhere could be much colder If we don't change the world will soon be over Living just enough, just enough for the city!

SONG 4 The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Written and performed by Gil Scott-Heron, 1974
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down brothers on the instant replay. (2X) There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process. There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy Wilkins strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving For just the proper occasion. Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and women will not care if Dick finally got down with Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people will be in the street looking for a brighter day. The revolution will not be televised. There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock news and no pictures of hairy armed women liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose. The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb, Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth. The revolution will not be televised. The revolution will not be right back after a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people. You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl. The revolution will not go better with Coke. The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath. The revolution will put you in the driver's seat. The revolution will not be televised, (4X) The revolution will be no re-run brothers; The revolution will be live.

290

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

STUDENT WORKSHEET LESSON 3: SONG

Unit 4, Lesson 3 Student Worksheet


NAME __________________________ DATE _________________________

Read over the song lyrics. For each question, summarize the perspective of that song. You may want to underline the sections of the song that are pertinent to each question in order to give examples from the text to back up your conclusion.

Say it Loud, Im Black and Im Proud James Brown, 1968


Uh, with your bad self Say it louder (I got a mouth) (2x) Look a'here, some people say we got a lot of malice Some say it's a lotta nerve I say we won't quit moving Till we get what we deserve We've been buked and we've been scorned We've been treated bad, talked about As sure as you're born But just as sure as it take Two eyes to make a pair, huh Brother, we can't quit until we get our share Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud (3x) I've worked on jobs with my feet and my hands But all the work I did was for the other man And now we demands a chance To do things for ourselves Were tired of beating our heads against the wall And working for someone else Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud (4x)

1) What is the songwriters message about the realities of African American life in the U.S.? Give evidence for your answer.

2) What does the songwriter propose as a means to support African American life and identity?

3) How do the performer and producer summon interest in the subject matter of the song?

! 2010 Project Look Sharp Ithaca College Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies

291

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

STUDENT WORKSHEET LESSON 3: SONG

Unit 4, Lesson 3 Student Worksheet


NAME __________________________ DATE _________________________

Read over the song lyrics. For each question, summarize the perspective of that song. You may want to underline the sections of the song that are pertinent to each question in order to give examples from the text to back up your conclusion.

To Be Young, Gifted, and Black Nina Simone, 1969


To be young, gifted and black, Oh what a lovely precious dream To be young, gifted and black, Open your heart to what I mean In the whole world you know Theres a million boys and girls Who are young, gifted, and black, And that's a fact! You are young, gifted and black We must begin to tell our young Theres a world waiting for you Yours is the quest that's just begun When you feel really low Yeah, there's a great truth that you should know When you're young, gifted and black Your soul's intact

1) What is the songwriters message about the realities of African American life in the U.S.? Give evidence for your answer.

2) What does the songwriter propose as a means to support African American life and identity?

3) How do the performer and producer summon interest in the subject matter of the song?

292

! 2010 Project Look Sharp Ithaca College Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

STUDENT WORKSHEET LESSON 3: SONG

Unit 4, Lesson 3 Student Worksheet


NAME __________________________ DATE _________________________

Read over the song lyrics. For each question, summarize the perspective of that song. You may want to underline the sections of the song that are pertinent to each question in order to give examples from the text to back up your conclusion.

Living for the City Stevie Wonder, 1973


SPOKEN: Bus going to New York City. Hey, bus driver, Im getting on there, hold it. Wow, New York, just like I pictured it. Skyscrapers, n everything. Hey, hey brother, you look hip, man. You want to make yourself five bucks man? Run this across the street for me right quick. Hey, what? Huh? I didnt know. Im just going across the street. Whatd I Do? Turn around, put your hands behind your back A jury of your peers having found you guilty Ten years. Cmon, get in that cell n-----, God. SUNG: His hair is long, his feet are hard and gritty He spends his life walking the streets of New York City He's almost dead from breathing in air pollution He tried to vote but to him there's no solution Living just enough, just enough for the city I hope you hear inside my voice of sorrow And that it motivates you to make a better tomorrow This place is cruel nowhere could be much colder If we don't change the world will soon be over Living just enough, just enough for the city!

1) What is the songwriters message about the realities of African American life in the U.S.? Give evidence for your answer.

2) What does the songwriter propose as a means to support African American life and identity?

3) How do the performer and producer summon interest in the subject matter of the song?

! 2010 Project Look Sharp Ithaca College Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies

293

MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE UNIT 4: BLACK FREEDOM/CIVIL RIGHTS

STUDENT WORKSHEET LESSON 3: SONG

Unit 4, Lesson 3 Student Worksheet


NAME __________________________ DATE _________________________

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Gil Scott-Heron, 1974


There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down brothers on the instant replay. (2X) There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process. There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy Wilkins strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving for just the proper occasion. Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and women will not care if Dick finally got down with Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people will be in the street looking for a brighter day. The revolution will not be televised. There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock news and no pictures of hairy armed women liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose. The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb, Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth. The revolution will not be televised. The revolution will not be right back after a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people. You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl. The revolution will not go better with Coke. The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath. The revolution will put you in the driver's seat. The revolution will not be televised, (4X) The revolution will be no re-run brothers; The revolution will be live.

1) What is the songwriters message about the realities of African American life in the U.S.? Give evidence for your answer.

2) What does the songwriter propose as a means to support African American life and identity?

3) How do the performer and producer summon interest in the subject matter of the song?

294

! 2010 Project Look Sharp Ithaca College Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies

Похожие интересы