How Music and Song has Influenced Political Change in Africa and the United States

Author: Carmen R. Carrion M.Ed.

School/Organization:

Julia de Burgos Elementary School

Year: 2021

Seminar: Listening to the Music of Contemporary Africa: History, Politics, and Human Origins

Grade Level: 1-4

Keywords: African American History, African music, Music

School Subject(s): Arts, Music, Social Studies

Teaching this unit involves more than teaching about a certain topic or theme. In order to properly teach this curriculum to black and brown students I must first present a clear understanding that the history of African Americans begins on the continent of Africa where great empires were born. Africans traded gold, arms, salt among other things with other civilizations. “Those that populated the colonies were free people from communities in Africa with large scale civilizations that had tax systems, that had irrigation systems, that had universities — they came from civilized nations that were advanced,” said Dr. Daina Ramey Berry, a professor of American history at the University of Texas at Austin. “That’s where the curriculum should begin, that’s the biggest omission from my perspective. It’s an erasure of culture and heritage so that identities of African Americans for some are that of slaves and those fighting for their freedom.

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Full Unit Text
Content Objective

Teaching this unit involves more than teaching about a certain topic or theme. In order to properly teach this curriculum to black and brown students I must first present a clear understanding that the history of African Americans begins on the continent of Africa where great empires were born. Africans traded gold, arms, salt among other things with other civilizations. “Those that populated the colonies were free people from communities in Africa with large scale civilizations that had tax systems, that had irrigation systems, that had universities — they came from civilized nations that were advanced,” said Dr. Daina Ramey Berry, a professor of American history at the University of Texas at Austin. “That’s where the curriculum should begin, that’s the biggest omission from my perspective. It’s an erasure of culture and heritage so that identities of African Americans for some are that of slaves and those fighting for their freedom.

When ever I teach a unit on Africa or any part thereof Africa always appears as a far away place. A place where lions and tigers roam. It is seen as a geographical location that is filled with deserts, grasslands, plateaus and dense rainforests.  The objective of this unit curriculum is to take what is already known by students and bridge it together by analyzing how and why music, film and storytelling has played such an important role in understanding social and political change, race relations, culture and history in Africa and the United States.

There are many benefits to incorporating a deeper study of the continent’s history and culture. Some of the benefits include students learning about Africa’s immensity, such as, more than 54 countries, 1000 ethnic groups and more than 2000 languages spoken.  The purpose of this unit is to explore the role of music in Africa. This unit will provide students with a historical lens by which Africa and its music can be better understood and appreciated. As students gain further knowledge of Africa’s history and its culture they will be able to expand their knowledge and share how Africa’s contemporary music has shaped its culture, politics and history.

Africa is still branded as an underdeveloped continent by many. When students in middle school are presented with a K-W-L chart on Africa many of their responses on what they know often center on different types of animals, geography and climate. However, archaeologists tell us that the oldest human bones have been unearthed on the continent of Africa, and so it follows then that the first music must also have emanated from the expressive and rhythmic roots of African peoples.

This curriculum will cover the following learning objectives. Students will be able to explore and compare and contrast the music of South Africa Anti-Apartheid era to the music which inspired the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Students.  Students will be able to explore the music’s rich history in both countries, position on conflict resolution, as well as the music’s views on culture and race.  This curriculum will also engage students by way of oral folktale, film and music analysis.

The curious beauty of African music is that it uplifts even as it tells a sad tale. You may be poor, you may have only a ramshackle house, you may have lost your job, but that song gives you hope…” Nelson Mandela

Focus Questions: What do know about how music has inspired the fight for justice? How did music inspire Africa’s anti-apartheid movement? How did music inspire the Civil Rights Movement? What do we know about the origin of African music and perhaps the early history of African American music once Africans reached the US? The focus of this unit will also be to examine the ways in which music has informed and reflected on Africa’s history and culture. Lastly, this unit will focus on how has film, oral stories and music contributed and inspired political and cultural change in Africa and in the United States.

Julia de Burgos Elementary School

In Fairhill at 401 West Lehigh Avenue is Julia de Burgos Elementary School. We are a k-8 school named after the famed Puerto Rican poet. We are a resilient school. I have taught at this school since 2005. It is home for me. Our mission is to is to provide a high quality-education that will exceed expectations while empowering scholars to become life-long learners and responsible citizens. We believe that all students are individuals who are capable of learning and achieving at advanced levels given the right tools and through hard work, dedication, and application.

At Julia de Burgos Elementary School, we strive to motivate, inspire, and educate ALL students in a safe, nurturing, and caring learning environment. We are a data driven school whereby we collect, analyze, and use data to guide rigorous instruction, provide intervention, and enrichment opportunities for ALL students while empowering students to become productive and responsible citizens. Encouraging students to think out of the box is key to our instruction, as well as shifting and changing the mindset of our entire school community will lead to success.

Grade Level: This curriculum unit has been written for middle school.

Differentiation: While most students prefer one learning style it is important to try and incorporate a combination of learning approaches. This curriculum employs multimodal instructional practices i.e., listening, seeing and hearing. There will be listening stations, writing task with films and documentaries, group discussions and general learning activities. During whole group instruction instructional text will include images and when verbally explaining something pictures and or diagrams will be used to support and as a resource. There is also differentiation with the use of Spanish and English documents.

Timeline for completion of this curriculum unit is four weeks.  Classes should meet twice a week with a sixty to forty-five-minute allotment of time for each class. Teachers may need to adjust and pace this curriculum to the specific needs of their students. Educators should take into account when pacing, the needs of ESOL and Special Education students.

Materials Needed:

This curriculum unit will require that each student have access to a computer (desktop or laptop.) Students will also require copies of the various documents that will be used throughout the unit. In addition, students will require their own personal headphones or earbuds. These headphones or earbuds will be used to listen to the various artist and their music that will be listened to during the significant number of class listening activities in this unit. A student journal will also be required as students will be writing daily reflective journal entries. This list is not a complete list of materials needed. Additional materials will be mentioned as needed throughout the curriculum to be included according to how the teacher adjusts the unit to classroom needs.

Teaching Strategies

The teachings strategies that will be used throughout this curriculum are graphic organizers such as webs, diagrams, maps, templates, K-W-L charts and grids so students stay organize and display their information and their findings. In addition, cooperative learning is the process of breaking the classroom into small groups so that they are working together to build knowledge and help each other learn. This teaching strategy will also provide opportunities for students to share ideas and articulate their thoughts on a variety of topics. Lastly, pre-reading and pre-writing strategies will be used throughout this unit to encourage student success in writing autobiographies, reflections and summarizations of text and songs.

It is so important for teachers and students to learn from one another and to build a community and culture in the classroom. This unit will incorporate opportunities for teachers and students to learn and produce work together. This curriculum unit will be student centered. Students will be presented with opportunities through the use of various learning modalities i.e., visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.

Resources: Primary and Secondary Sources

Using the Common Core State Standards for History and Social Studies, this unit will use a variety of primary and secondary sources to analyze how the various media such as film, oral folktale and primarily the music of contemporary Africa has shaped and molded Africa’s history, politics, views and culture.  These standard address key ideas and details. Students will read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. Note on range and content of student reading history: Reading is critical to building knowledge in history/social studies as well as in other subjects. As students are being prepared for college ready in these fields they are requires to develop an appreciation of the norms and conventions of each discipline such as the kinds of evidence used in history and understanding of domain specific words and phrases: and attention to precise details: and the capacity to evaluate descriptions of events and concepts.

In addition, students will gain experience in being able to analyze and evaluate and differentiate primary and secondary sources.  The purpose of this is for students to understand the role music played in documenting and reflecting African and African American history and culture.

Essential Questions: To what extent has music inspired political and cultural change in Africa and the United States? Lastly, how have notable African musicians past and present shapted and influenced the culture?

This unit will educate and shape the minds of students teaching them to go beyond what is written in history textbooks regarding the Middle Passage and the Atlantic Slave Trade and the fact that African slaves were forced to abandon their culture, religions and customs on arriving in the Americas. This unit is written to communicate and share with all students that Africans since the beginning of time have influenced social change, culture, history, literature, dance and music.

Diverse media and formats (e.g., visually and orally) will be used and explain how it contributes to the topic, text, or issue under study. I will also include multimedia components such as (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information. Music has always played an important part in every society and civilization. As an expression of grief, memories, struggles, a celebration of life and as a symbol of memories, music remains at the core. Music can be a primary source for studying history, just like a photograph, newspaper article or diary entry.

Vocabulary Bank:

Students will be exposed to a variety of new words throughout this curriculum unit. In order to understand and intergrade the vocabulary students will use the Frayer Model. So, for example here is how students will analyze the vocabulary word “apartheid” (Term a policy of racial segregation practiced in the Republic of South Africa. (Characteristics) whites made up only 13% of the population, but controlled the government.  (Example) Non-whites were unable to live and travel to certain areas. They could not hold certain jobs or attend school. (Non-example) hiring on the basis of ability not skin color.

Classroom Activities

Lesson 1

Reading Like an Historian

In order to ensure students’ success students must first know and understand how to read and listen like an historian. This curriculum engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features a set of primary documents designed for groups of students with a range of reading skills. This lesson is meant to cover on class period of 45 minutes – 60 minutes.

The first part of this curriculum teaches students how to investigate historical questions by employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading. Instead of memorizing historical facts, students evaluate the trustworthiness of multiple perspectives on historical issues and learn to make historical claims backed by documentary evidence. (Stanford History Education Group.)

Historical Thinking Chart

“The use of anchor charts assists in making thinking visible by identifying key content, strategies and processes during the learning process. Posting anchor charts and/or distributing reference sheets) provide a scaffold tool for students as they read, discuss and write about ideas in class.”

The questions they should address are the five W’s! Who was involved, who supported it and who opposed it? When and where did it begin, did it end and lastly did it have the greatest impact? What was happening at the time? What were the causes and what were the effects?  Furthermore, students should question Why was this event significant, was it controversial and is this still relevant today?

The charts inserted below both in Spanish and English elaborates on the historical reading skills of sourcing, corroboration, contextualization, and close reading. In addition to questions that relate to each skill, the chart includes descriptions of how students might demonstrate historical thinking and sentence frames to support the development of these skills.

Image: Photo of African-American and Native American students in Ancient History class by Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1899. From the Library of Congress.

https://sheg.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/download-pdf/Historical%20Thinking%20Chart.pdf

https://sheg.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/download-pdf/Historical%20Thinking%20Chart_Spanish_0.pdf

Lesson 2 and 3

Snapshot Biography

In this lesson students will transfer learned knowledge from “Thinking Like an Historian and begin to apply that knowledge to creating a Snapshot Biography on their own life. To compare with other versions, would they ask their caregivers for example their version of the student life story? They will ask themselves the following: Why are some events included and others not in their? How does their version of events compare to others’ versions of the same event? Why do two historical accounts differ when both sides believe they are telling the truth? How would students prove that their version of events was true? Exploring these questions will give students insight into the nature of history and will prepare them to engage in historical thinking in future lessons.

Materials:

Copies of Snapshot Autobiography Project Note: This lesson is designed to span two class periods.

First Day Plan of Instruction:

  1. Journal free-write: What is a story about a significant moment in your life from your early childhood? For example, this could be the story of your birth, an older cousin’s wedding, your first day of school, the adoption of an old family pet, etc. 2. Pair/Share. 3. Whole class discussion: • How do you know the story of this life event? • What evidence do you have to back your story? • How might someone else remember this story? 4. Pass out and explain directions for the Snapshot Autobiography. Homework: Students interview someone for a second perspective. (See second page of Snapshot Autobiography Project.)

Second Day Plan of Instruction:

  1. Explain that we will first begin by sharing one of our important events. It does not necessarily have to be the one that you asked another person about. 2. Students each share one event. (Given time constraints, you might need to divide class or only ask for volunteers to share an event). 3. Discussion questions: • Why did students choose certain events and not others? What made some events more important or memorable than others? • Was it difficult to select events? Why or why not? • What types of evidence would be necessary to corroborate that your selected event actually happened? • What happened when you asked someone about the event? Did they agree with your version? Did they remember things differently? 4. Closing comments: This is what history is like. History is what happened in the past, just like the events in your life. Different accounts may conflict or agree with one another.

Snapshot Biography

Snapshot Autobiography Project

Name:____________________________Period:____ Due:_______

What is history? Many people describe history as a study of the past, a huge collection of names, dates, facts that you are expected to memorize. The goal of this assignment is for you to discover other meanings of history and to recognize why it is important to study history.

 

In this project, you will think about the meaning of history by describing and illustrating events from your own life, finding a witness to provide another description of one of those events, and thinking about the similarities and differences between the two descriptions.

 

Directions:

Part 1: Snapshot Autobiography

Student Directions: Choose one of these events and write a short paragraph below describing what happened, who was involved, where were you, why was this a significant event in your life? Make sure you describe this from start to finish. Make sure that you write it so that someone who doesn’t know the details can read it and understand what is happening. **You will want to choose an event that you can talk to another person that will also remember that event. **

Part 2: Another Perspective

Now is your chance to talk to somebody else that remembers the important event you chose to write about. 1. Find somebody who remembers that event. For example, your parents, siblings, or friends will probably be familiar with some of the events you described. 2. Do NOT tell them your memory of the event before you hear their story. 3. Ask the person you chose to tell you their version of the story. In order to make sure that you are getting their version, ask them an open question about the event, for example, “Mom, do you remember fifth grade when Jane and I stopped being friends? Can you tell me what you remember about what happened?” 4. Take careful notes of the interview. Note which parts of their story differ from your own. 5. Make sure to thank the interviewee for their participation and have them sign here:

Name of the person you interviewed:

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

Relationship to you:

______________________________________________________________________________

Interview notes: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

What do the two stories have in common? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What is different about the two stories? ______________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Snapshot Autobiography Project: Grade Report

Name: ________________________                              Period:_____

Part 1- Snapshot Biography

Autobiography Title and illustration-                /3
Details are written in chronological order-                /3
Birth/Early Life story- /3
Another Perspective /3
Presentation- one story read to class /5

                                                                                                                         Total_____/15

Part II – Another Perspective

Interview Notes                               /5
What stories have in common /5
What is different about the stories /5

                                                                                                                        Total _____/15

Project Grade:  _________/30

“Our work this year is to figure out how we can gather enough evidence to get the clearest picture possible of what happened in the past. These ideas were inspired by prior assignments by Professor Walter Parker of the University of Washington’s College of Education.”

 

Once students have mastered thinking like an historian, students will then be able to analyze primary and secondary sources used that will be used throughout this curriculum.

Lesson 4

Visual/Films:

Every student has their own style of learning. Sometimes learning through simply just reading a text doesn’t come easily to students. The use of film as a way to expand knowledge is a great way for learners to understand concepts without barriers that hinder learning. Films also allow students to see life through different perspectives. The use of film to introduce or support a lesson taught also provide aid to understanding historical events. In this curriculum students will watch two films to support the learning object of (Students will be able to explore and compare and contrast the music of South Africa Anti-Apartheid era to the music which inspired the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Students.)

Before beginning this lesson student should be familiar and comfortable with the following vocabulary and topics i.e., what does it mean to be empowered?  Students should know and understand how to express empathy ‘when people are excluded or mistreated because of their identities and concern when they themselves experience bias.’ They should know how to talk about race. They should be able to make inferences so that in watching the film they are able to write about the unseen.  The following serves as summary for the film.  “The film chronicles a musical and cultural past of those who cried out in song against inequality, poverty, war, and in support of workers, civil and human rights. From the beginnings of the Civil Rights Era to Watergate — creative pioneers in gospel, blues, R&B and pop brought music, medium and message together as never before, composing a soundtrack perfectly tuned to the tempo and pulse of its time.”

The first film is “Let Freedom Sing” How Music Inspired the Civil Rights (2009) this film is rated PG and runs 90 minutes.  Resources: Teachers are able to watch the film on pubfilm.one

Materials needed: The teacher will project the film on the class Smart Board. Students will need a copy of the graphic organizer ‘Song Analysis Activity” and a copy of the lyrics to the song they will be analyzing.

Learning Objective: Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.

Essential Questions: What did you notice in the song as you listened? How did it make you feel? What did you hear that makes you say that? What more can you find? What do you think is the overall theme of the song?

Possible Themes for Civil Rights: Voting Rights – Fair Trial – Fair Housing – Public Education – Use of Public Facilities.

Activity: Turn and Talk (Students will ask their elbow partner the following questions allow 5 minutes for discussion.) Call on one student from each group to share their responses to one – two questions.

What did you notice in the song as you listened? How did it make you feel?

What did you hear that makes you say that?

How does the song connect to the time period we’re studying?

Do you think the song is effective as a protest song? Why?

Students will also use the resource below ‘Descriptive Words’ to identify the mood and tone that is created when listening to the music in the films “Let Freedom Sing-How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement and “Long Walk to Freedom” based on Nelson Mandela’s own autobiography.

Some descriptive words for the effects of music are: Soothe Stimulate, Motivate, Frighten, Excite, Calm, Relax, Enlighten, Frighten, Empower, Stir, Uplift, Heal, Incite, Rejuvenate,

Name___________                                                                             Date______________

Song Analysis Activity

Let Freedom Sing

Directions: Listen to the song (When Do I Get to Be Called a Man lyrics by Big Bill Broonzy in the film “Let Freedom Sing”. Next, read the lyrics to the song (twice.)  Respond to the following questions in complete sentences.

  1. Which words are repeated throughout the song? Why do you think the artist repeated this verse? Explain

 

  1. How did it make you feel? (Use descriptive words.)

 

  1. What did you hear that makes you say that?

 

  1. What more can you find?

 

For the next question (5) refer to the word bank of possible themes for Civil Rights.

Possible Themes for Civil Rights

Voting Rights-Fair Trial-Fair Housing-Public Education-Use of Public Facilities-Equality

  1. Explain what you think is the overall theme/message of the song?

For the next two questions use the word bank below to help identify the tone and mood of the song.

Descriptive Words

Soothe Stimulate, Motivate, Frighten, Excite, Calm, Relax, Enlighten, Frighten, Empower, Stir, Uplift, Heal, Incite, Rejuvenate

  1. Identify the tone of the song (how did the author by writing this song make you feel?)
  2. Identify the mood of the song (ask yourself “what emotion did you feel” when listening to the song?)
  3. Do you think the song is effective as a protest song? Explain.

When Do I Get to Be Called a Man lyrics by Big Bill Broonzy

When I was born into this world, this is what happened to me
I was never called a man, and now I’m fifty-three
I wonder when
I wonder when
I wonder when will I get to be called a man
Do I have to wait till I get ninety-three?
When Uncle Sam called me, I knowed I’d be called a real McCoy
But I got none of this, they just called me soldier boy
I wonder when
I wonder when
I wonder when will I get to be called a man
Do I have to wait till I get ninety-three?

When I got back from overseas, that night we had a ball
Next day I met the old boss, he said “Boy get you some overalls”
I wonder when
I wonder when
I wonder when will I get to be called a man
Do I have to wait till I get ninety-three?
I’ve worked on the levee camps, and axer gangs too
Black man’s a boy, don’t care what he can do
I wonder when
I wonder when
I wonder when will I get to be called a man
Do I have to wait till I get ninety-three?
They aid I was uneducated, my clothes were dirty and torn
Now I’ve got a little education, but I’m still a boy right on
I wonder when
I wonder when
I wonder when will I get to be called a man
Do I have to wait till I get ninety-three?

Lesson 5

Visual/Films:

Another important film that will be showcased in this curriculum is a film “based on Nelson Mandela’s own autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”, which will expand students visual bank and introduces students to understanding the politics of South Africa. According to 10 Epic Films to inspire you to visit Africa “The movie does a great job at showcasing historical events, but still mixes in the drama and action to keep viewers entertained.”

Materials needed: The teacher will project the film on the class Smart Board. Students will need a copy of the Graphic OrganizerSong Analysis Activity” and a copy of the lyrics they will be analyzing.

Learning Objective: Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.

Essential Questions: What did you notice in the song as you listened? How did it make you feel? What did you hear that makes you say that? What more can you find? What do you think is the overall theme of the song?

Possible Themes for Civil Rights: Voting Rights – Fair Trial – Fair Housing – Public Education – Use of Public Facilities.

Students will also use the resource below ‘Descriptive Words’ to identify the mood and tone that is created when listening to the music in the films “Let Freedom Sing-How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement and “Long Walk to Freedom” based on Nelson Mandela’s own autobiography.

Some descriptive words for the effects of music are: Soothe Stimulate, Motivate, Frighten, Excite, Calm, Relax, Enlighten, Frighten, Empower, Stir, Uplift, Heal, Incite, Rejuvenate,

Summative Student Work-

Student Song Analysis Directions: Students will choose a song of their choosing that is related to the Civil Rights era. Students will read the lyrics and listen to an online recording. This activity should be repeated twice for understanding. Students will next respond to the following questions in a one paragraph response.

  1. What do you think the song is about?
  2. What emotional response does the song evoke?
  3. Describe the message, viewpoint or lesson the songwriter was trying to convey. Cite textual evidence by sharing examples from the song in your explanation.
  4. Conduct research to learn the actual message of the song. There are several online sites you could use such as www.wikipedia.org, www.songfacts.com, and www.lyricinterpretations.com. 5. Do you believe the message of the song is relevant today? If so, is it relevant in your school, your community, the nation, the world, or all of them? If not, why not?
  5. What words, lines or phrases in the song do you personally relate to? 7. What might be an alternate title for the song?

Activity

In this lesson students will learn about the role of storytelling in African culture. After students have read and listened to the story they will discuss by way of “Think, Pair, share” (speaking/collaborative grouping) what role does oral tradition play in our culture? The goal is for students to think about what stories have been passed down to them personally. This could be any example passed down by grandparents, aunts, uncles and close family friends. I want students to think about what happens when these stories are being told? Does this conversation take place in the kitchen? Does it take place outside on the steps/stoop? Is there a game of Spades or dominos taking place? Lastly I want students to use the metacognitive skills and question

Essential Question: How does this knowledge transfer to in identifying the role that oral folktale plays in African culture.”

Materials needed: Chart Paper, yellow highlighter, printed copy of folktales “Where stories come from-A Zulu African tale and The Disobedient Daughter Who Marries a Skull-a Nigerian tale.

Learning Objective: Students will be able to identify cultural details in a folktale and explain ho these details help us understand other cultures.

Collaborative Grouping: Students can work in groups of three, with each student taking an active role in the lesson: reader, note taker (will provide a summary of the reading) and time keeper. Each student will be responsible for filling out their own

Graphic Organizer “Elements of African Folktale

Directions: Provide details and or examples for each of the following questions. Folktale-Where Stores come from-a Zulu African tale The Disobedient Daughter Who Marries a Skull-a Nigerian tale.
Reference to objects.    
Reference to animals.    
How they lived, obtained their food, conflict in the story.    
Did they worship? In which way?    
Did they story teach a theme?    
Provide one example of personification.    
What did they value? What was important to them?    

Where Stories Come From (A Traditional Zulu Story)

Once, a very long time ago, so long ago that it must have been close to the time when the First Man and the First Woman walked upon the earth, there lived a woman named Manzandaba (mah-nzah-ndah’-bah) and her husband Zenzele (zay-nzay’-lay).

They lived in a traditional home in a small traditional village. They had many children, and for the most part, they were very happy. They would spend the day working, weaving baskets, tanning hides, hunting and tilling the earth near their home. On occasion they would go down to the great ocean and play under the sun in the sand, laughing at the funny crabs they would see scuttling along there and rejoicing at the way in which the birds would dip and dive in the sea breezes. Zenzele had the heart of an artist and loved to carve. He would fashion beautiful birds out of old tree stumps. With his axe he could make the most wonderful impala and kudu bucks from stone. Their homestead was filled with decorative works by Zenzele the carver.

But in the evenings when the family would sit around the fire before going to sleep they would not be so happy. It was too dark for weaving or carving, and yet too early to go to sleep. “Mama,” the children would cry, “Sifuna izindaba!” (see-foo’-nah ezee-ndah’-bah) “We want stories! Tell us some stories, Mama!” Manzandaba would think and think, trying to find a story she could tell her children, but it was of no use. She and Zenzele had no stories to tell. They sought the counsel of their neighbours, but none of them knew any stories. They listened to the wind. Could the wind be trying to tell them a story? No, they heard nothing. There were no stories, no dreams, no magical tales.

One day Zenzele told his wife that she must go in search of stories. He promised to look after the home, to care for the children, to mend and wash and sweep and clean, if only she would bring back stories for the people. Manzandaba agreed. She kissed her husband and children good-bye and set off in search of stories.

The woman decided to ask every creature she passed if they had stories to share. The first animal she met was Nogwaja (noh-gwah’jah) the hare. He was such a trickster! But she thought she’d better ask him all the same. “Nogwaja, do you have any stories? My people are hungry for tales!” “Stories?” shrieked Nogwaja. “Why, I have hundreds, thousands, no–millions of them!”

“Oh, please, Nogwaja,” begged Manzandaba, “give some to me that we might be happy!”

“Ummm….” Nogwaja said. “Uhhhh…well, I have no time for stories now. Can’t you see that I am terribly busy? Stories in the daytime, indeed!” And Nogwaja hopped quickly away. Silly Nogwaja! He was lying! He didn’t have any stories!

With a sigh Manzandaba continued on her way. The next one she came upon was mother baboon with her babies. “Oh, Fene! (fay’-nay) ” she called. “I see you are a mother also! My children are crying for stories. Do you have any stories that I could bring back to them?”

“Stories?” laughed the baboon. “Do I look like I have time to tell stories? Hawu! With so much work to do to keep my children fed and safe and warm, do you think I have time for stories? I am glad that I do not have human children who cry for such silly things!”

Manzandaba continued on her way. She then saw an owl in a wild fig tree. “Oh, Khova (koh’-vah),” she called, “please will you help me? I am looking for stories. Do you have any stories you could give me to take back to my home?”

Well, the owl was most perturbed at having been woken from her sleep. “Who is making noise in my ears?” she hooted. “What is this disruption? What do you want? Stories! You dare wake me for stories? How rude!” And with that the owl flew off to another tree and perched much higher, where she believed she would be left in peace. Soon she was sound asleep again. And Manzandaba went sadly on her way.

Next she came upon an elephant. “Oh, kind Ndlovu (ndloh’-voo),” she asked, “do you know where I might find some stories? My people are hungry for some tales, and we do not have any!”

Now the elephant was a kind animal. He saw the look in the woman’s eye and felt immediately sorry for her. “Dear woman,” he said, “I do not know of any stories. But I do know the eagle. He is the king of the birds and flies much higher than all the rest. Don’t you think that he might know where you could find stories?”

“Ngiyabonga, Ndlovu!” she said. “Thank you very much!”

So Manzandaba began to search for Nkwazi (nkwah’-zee) the great fish eagle. She found him near the mouth of the Tugela River. Excitedly she ran toward him. She called out to him as he was swooping down from the sky, talons outstretched to grab a fish from the river. “Nkwazi! Nkwazi!” she called. She so startled the eagle that he dropped the fish that had been his. He circled around and landed on the shore near the woman.

“Hawu!” he barked at her. “What is so important that you cause me to lose my supper?”

“Oh, great and wise Nkwazi,” began Manzandaba. (Now fish eagle is very vain. He liked hearing this woman refer to him and great and wise. He puffed out his feathers as she spoke.) “Nkwazi, my people are hungry for stories. I have been searching a long time now for tales to bring back to them. Do you know where I might find such tales?” She gave him a great look of desperation.

“Well,” he said, “even though I am quite wise, I do not know everything. I only know of the things that are here on the face of the earth. But there is one who knows even the secrets of the deep, dark ocean. Perhaps he could help you. I will try and call him for you. Stay here and wait for me!” So Manzandaba waited several days for her friend the fish eagle to return. Finally he came back to her. “Sawubona, nkosikazi!” he called. “I have returned, and I am successful! My friend, ufudu lwasolwandle, the big sea turtle, has agreed to take you to a place where you can find stories!” And with that the great sea turtle lifted himself out of the ocean.

“Woza, nkosikazi,” said the sea turtle in his deep voice. “Climb onto my back and hold onto my shell. I will carry you to the Land of the Spirit People.” So the woman took hold of his shell and down they went into the depths of the sea. The woman was quite amazed. She had never seen such beautiful things before in her life. Finally they came to the bottom of the ocean where the Spirit People dwell. The sea turtle took her straight to the thrones of the King and Queen. They were so regal! Manzandaba was a bit afraid at first to look at them. She bowed down before them.

“What do you wish of us, woman from the dry lands?” they asked.

So Manzandaba told them of her desire to bring stories to her people.

“Do you have stories that I could take to them?” she asked rather shyly.

“Yes,” they said, “we have many stories. But what will you give us in exchange for those stories, Manzandaba?”

“What do you desire?” Manzandaba asked.

“What we would really like,” they said, “is a picture of your home and your people. We can never go to the dry lands, but it would be so nice to see that place. can you bring us a picture, Manzandaba?”

“Oh, yes!” she answered. “I can do that! Thank you, thank you!”

So Manzandaba climbed back onto the turtle’s shell, and he took her back to the shore. She thanked him profusely and asked him to return with the next round moon to collect her and the picture.

The woman told her family all of the things she had seen and experienced on her journey. When she finally got to the end of the tale her husband cried out with delight. “I can do that! I can carve a beautiful picture in wood for the Spirit People in exchange for their stories!” And he set to work straight away.

Manzandaba was so proud of her husband and the deftness of his fingers. She watched him as the picture he carved came to life. There were the members of their family, their home and their village. Soon others in the community heard about Manzandaba’s journey and the promised stories and came also to watch Zenzele’s creation take shape. When the next round moon showed her face Zenzele was ready. He carefully tied the picture to Manzandaba’s back. She climbed on the turtle’s back and away they went to the Spirit Kingdom. When they saw the picture the King and Queen of the Spirit people were so happy! They praised Zenzele’s talent and gave Manzandaba a special necklace made of the finest shells for her husband in thanks. And then they turned to Manzandaba herself. “For you and your people,” they said, “we give the gift of stories.” And they handed her the largest and most beautiful shell she had ever seen. “Whenever you want a story,” they said, “just hold this shell to your ear and you will have your tale!” Manzandaba thanked them for their extreme kindness and headed back to her own world.

When she arrived at the shore, there to meet her was her own family and all the people of her village. They sat around a huge fire and called out, “Tell us a story, Manzandaba! Tell us a story!”

So she sat down, put the shell to her ear, and began, “Kwesuka sukela….”

And that is how stories came to be!

The Disobedient Daughter Who Married a Skull
a Folktale from Nigeria

Effiong Edem was a native of Cobham Town. He had a very fine daughter, whose name was Afiong. All the young men in the country wanted to marry her on account of her beauty; but she refused all offers of marriage in spite of repeated entreaties from her parents, as she was very vain, and said she would only marry the best-looking man in the country, who would have to be young and strong, and capable of loving her properly.

Most of the men her parents wanted her to marry, although they were rich, were old men and ugly, so the girl continued to disobey her parents, at which they were very much grieved.

The Skull who lived in the spirit land heard of the beauty of this Calabar virgin, and thought he would like to possess her; so he went about amongst his friends and borrowed different parts of the body from them, all of the best. From one he got a good head, another lent him a body, a third gave him strong arms, and a fourth lent him a fine pair of legs. At last he was complete, and was a very perfect specimen of manhood.

He then left the spirit land and went to Cobham market, where he saw Afiong, and admired her very much.

About this time Afiong heard that a very fine man had been seen in the market, who was better-looking than any of the natives. She therefore went to the market at once, and directly she saw the Skull in his borrowed beauty, she fell in love with him, and invited him to her house. The Skull was delighted, and went home with her, and on his arrival was introduced by the girl to her parents, and immediately asked their consent to marry their daughter. At first they refused, as they did not wish her to marry a stranger, but at last they agreed.

He lived with Afiong for two days in her parents’ house, and then said he wished to take his wife back to his country, which was far off. To this the girl readily agreed, as he was such a fine man, but her parents tried to persuade her not to go. However, being very headstrong, she made up her mind to go, and they started off together.

After they had been gone a few days the father consulted his Ju Ju man, who by casting lots very soon discovered that his daughter’s husband belonged to the spirit land, and that she would surely be killed. They therefore all mourned her as dead.

After walking for several days, Afiong and the Skull crossed the border between the spirit land and the human country. Directly they set foot in the spirit land, first of all one man came to the Skull and demanded his legs, then another his head, and the next his body, and so on, until in a few minutes the Skull was left by itself in all its natural ugliness. At this the girl was very frightened, and wanted to return home, but the Skull would not allow this, and ordered her to go with him.

When they arrived at the Skull’s house they found his mother, who was a very old woman quite incapable of doing any work, who could only creep about. Afiong tried her best to help her, and cooked her food, and brought water and firewood for the old woman. The old creature was very grateful for these attentions, and soon became quite fond of Afiong.

One day the old woman told Afiong that she was very sorry for her, but all the people in the spirit land were cannibals, and when they heard there was a human being in their country, they would come down and kill her and eat her. The Skull’s mother then hid Afiong, and as she had looked after her so well, she promised she would send her back to her country as soon as possible, providing that she promised for the future to obey her parents. This Afiong readily consented to do.

Then the old woman sent for the spider, who was a very clever hairdresser, and made him dress Afiong’s hair in the latest fashion. She also presented her with anklets and other things on account of her kindness. She then made a Ju Ju and called the winds to come and convey Afiong to her home. At first a violent tornado came, with thunder, lightning and rain, but the Skull’s mother sent him away as unsuitable. The next wind to come was a gentle breeze, so she told the breeze to carry Afiong to her mother’s house, and said good-bye to her. Very soon afterwards the breeze deposited Afiong outside her home, and left her there.

When the parents saw their daughter they were very glad, as they had for some months given her up as lost. The father spread soft animals’ skins on the ground from where his daughter was standing all the way to the house, so that her feet should not be soiled. Afiong then walked to the house, and her father called all the young girls who belonged to Afiong’s company to come and dance, and the feasting and dancing was kept up for eight days and nights.

When the rejoicing was over, the father reported what had happened to the head chief of the town. The chief then passed a law that parents should never allow their daughters to marry strangers who came from a far country. Then the father told his daughter to marry a friend of his, and she willingly consented, and lived with him for many years, and had many children.

Lesson 6

African and American Music

Students will be exposed to various elements of contemporary culture in African and American music as they will explore the role that music has played in achieving social and political change.

The source that will be used for this project is “Okay 12 Essential Anti-Apartheid songs from South Africa and around the world and and Teach Rock the music of the Civil Rights Movement.

Materials Needed: Teacher will create listening stations around the classrooms each station should have 4-5 laptops with listening aids provided either by the teacher or students can bring in their own earbuds or head phones.  Students will work in groups of 3 (no more than four students.) Students will make their way from station to station listening to three different songs by various African artist. Such as, Brenda Fassie~Black President, Eddy Grant “Gimme Hope Jo’anna and Sun City by the American protest music group Artist United Against Apartheid.

Teachers can also hang printed posters of the artist in paste them on the wall for a visual representation of the artist.

Essential Question: How did popular music affect the values of the Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-Apartheid movement?

Learning Objective: 1. Know the role of music as a motivation force and the effectiveness of music in spreading the message of the Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Students will also be able to analyze the songs meaning and make the connection between music and historical events.  Lastly, analyze the role and effectiveness of music as a tool in political protest.

https://www.okayafrica.com/anti-apartheid-songs-south-africa/

Listening Station 1:

For this lesson students will listen to the following artist: Brenda Fassie~Black President,

(Sample lyrics):

The year 1963

The people’s president

Was taken away by security men

All dressed in a uniform

The brutality, brutality

Oh no, my, my black president

Listening Station 2:

Students will also listen to Eddy Grant “Gimme Hope Jo’anna. In 1988, Guyanese-British Musician Eddy Grant released “Gimme Hope Jo’Anna,” a reference to Johannesburg, the country’s economic powerhouse. Grant personified the city, which, just like the whole country, was under white minority rule, and called her out her ills. The song, just like many anti-apartheid songs, was banned in South Africa, but made waves across the globe, reaching #7 in the UK Singles Chart.

(Sample lyrics):

“Well, Jo’anna she runs a country

She runs in Durban and the Transvaal

She makes a few of her people happy

She don’t care about the rest at all

She’s got a system they call apartheid

It keeps a brother in a subjection”

Listening Station 3:

“Sun City” by the American protest music group Artist United Against Apartheid was orchestrated by the artist Steven Van Zandt and the producer Arthur Baker. The song featured a long and diverse array of musicians including DJ Kool Herc, Melle Mel, Bobby Womack, Hall and Oates among others. “Sun City” drew parallels between the struggles people of color were facing in America to how black people were oppressed in South Africa under the apartheid regime. The was explosive in nature, with touches of disco, rock and roll, hip-hop and pop, and boasted a catchy chorus, making it anthemic.

(Sample lyrics):

“We’re rockers and rappers united and strong

We’re here to talk about South Africa we don’t like what’s going on (tell it)

It’s time for some justice it’s time for the truth (speak it)

We’ve realized there’s only one thing we can do”

Listening Station 4:

Sam Cook “A Change is Gonna Come” this song is an amazing classic was released in 1964 and was written by Cook to highlight his own personal struggles during the Civil Rights era, such as being turned away from white only motels.  How this song resonates today is in the lyrics Cook sings of “We are still “back down” on “our knees,” still praying, still hoping.” This verse shows in present day time of the struggle that still continues for African Americans i.e., George Floyd.

Sample Lyrics:

Oh, when I go to my brother
I’d say brother, help me, please
But he winds up knockin’ me
Back down on my knees.

There been times that I thought I wouldn’t last for long
Now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change’s gonna come, oh, yes, it will.

Listening Station 5:

James Brown “Say It Loud-I’m Black and I’m Proud (1968) is considered the black empowerment anthem of the 1960s-1970s.

Sample Lyrics

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

We tired of beatin’ our head against the wall

And workin’ for someone else.

Listening Station 6

While considered modern day Civil Rights song it is important to show that the fight for justice continues more than 60 years later. John Legend and Common “Glory” (2014) was written as part of the Academy Award for best music “Glory”.

Sample Lyrics:

Hands to the Heavens, no man, no weapon

Formed against, yes glory is destined

Every day women and men become legends

Sins that go against our skin become blessings

The movement is a rhythm to us

Freedom is like religion to us

Summative Activity:

Once students have rotated through the three listening stations students will then research and create a Playlist consisting of four songs. Two of the songs will be from a teacher assigned region in Africa. The next two songs will represent the civil rights struggle. They may choose songs from the (1960s-until present day.) They will identify the theme, instruments played, repetition and summarize the songs meaning. They will present their research in a 7 slide

Google Presentation.

Slide 1-Title of their presentation and their full name.

Slide 2- Introduction of the artist names and their playlist

Slide 3-Presentation of their assigned African region

Slide 4-Sample lyrics and an explanation of the overall theme of song #1

Slide 5-Sample lyric and an explanation of the overall theme of song #2

Slide 6-Sample lyrics and an explanation of the overall theme of song #3

Slide 7-Sample lyric and an explanation of the overall theme of song #4

References

African American documentaries. (2008, March 7). IMDb. Retrieved June 9, 2021, from https://www.imdb.com/list/ls022855080/?sort=alpha,asc&st_dt=&mode=detail&page=1

AfricaPachanga 17/Mar/2021 – Fely Tchaco – Música Africana Afrobeat. (2021, March 17). Podomatic. Retrieved May 5, 2021, from https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/africapachanga/episodes/2021-03-17T09_59_02-07_00

Bickerdike, J. O. (2021, March 19). 6 protest songs from the 1960s we should listen to today. Discogs Blog. https://blog.discogs.com/en/protest-songs-from-the-1960s-you-should-listen-to-now/

The disobedient daughter. (2016, September 13). English 202 Folklore. Retrieved May 5, 2021, from https://courtneykusnier.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/the-disobedient-daughter/

Education Group/Standford. (2000, March 6). Historical thinking chart. Stanford History Education Group. https://sheg.stanford.edu/history-lessons/historical-thinking-chart

The freedom riders and the popular music of the civil rights movement. (2013, June 16). NEH-Edsitement. Retrieved June 7, 2021, from https://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plans/freedom-riders-and-popular-music-civil-rights-movement

The music of the civil rights movement. (2017, January 13). TeachRock. Retrieved May 10, 2021, from https://teachrock.org/lesson/the-music-of-the-civil-rights-movement/

Teaching African history and cultures across the curriculum. (2020, July 23). Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/article/teaching-african-history-and-cultures-across-curriculum

Where stories come from (A traditional Zulu story) | CanTeach. (n.d.). CanTeach | Resources for educators. Retrieved June 5, 2021, from https://www.canteach.ca/resources/social-studies/society-and-culture/african-folk-tales/where-stories-come-from/

 

 

Appendix

This curriculum will address the following Common Core Standards in History and Social Studies.

Key Ideas and Details:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.3

Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.5

Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.6

Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7

Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.8

Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.9

Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic