Does anyone out there happen to know of any hip-hop/rap song that samples either "Go Down, Moses" or "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot?" I'm going to teach a couple spirituals in my slave narrative unit, and I'd like to show their continued relevance. Of course, there is always the connection to faith communities, but we've already discussed hip-hop/rap as an autobiographical medium akin to slave narratives, so if I can make that connections as well, I think it would be meaningful for my kids.
By the by, we watched the documentary "Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives," and my class really responded to it--after a little explanation. At first I thought they hated it because I heard some snickering and negative comments. After about 10 minutes of the film, I stopped it and questioned them about their reactions. The class didn't really get that the film's narrators weren't just making up stories about slaves (which they thought was sort of racist), but that they were reading the real words of real people. When I explained what was going on, they got really quiet. Many of them had never heard real accounts of slavery or seen real images of slaves.They were blown away. I was blown away.
Once again, I realized that I never really know what background knowledge my kids are gonna have, and I need to prepare for anything--even things I don't think I need to prepare for.