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footwhere

Try Jesus Walks by Kanye West. It's current, the kids know who Kanye is, and it may not be about slavary, but the content is about spirituality and how the songwriter deals with it in today's world of hip-hop. Kanye West is one of the few conscious rappers/producers in the genre that can actually get their songs in the mainstream because he not only is an intelligent artist, but his content appeases the masses as well.

Mamacita

Have you ever used the film "Brother Future?" It's awesome.

Penny

I had a similar experience with the movie "The Long Walk Home." My class (in an all-black middle school, in the South, c. 1992) had heard of civil disobedience, non-violent protest, passive resistance. But when they SAW characters in the movie refusing to fight back, they were really upset--they were saying back to the screen, "hit him!" We had a talk about it--gang, THIS is what "passive" means, and this is what they did to win the struggle. Honestly, until it was dramatized before their eyes, they just had no clear sense of what the words really meant.

Tom

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/r/roots,-the/118578.html

http://www.metrolyrics.com/lyrics/41385/Bone_Thugs_N_Harmony/Battlezone/

Two for swing low sweet chariot or pretty close. These are fairly new but not as new as Kanye.

Public Enemy is older, maybe unknown to many, but has a lot of good slavery/social issues lyrics. DMX also has a couple of prayer style songs about his fight with the Devil (they are pretty good).

Graham

This doesn't exactly count, but UB40 recently did a version of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot because it is (bizarrely) the signature song of the England Rugby team.

mary

It's a bit weirder, but listen to "Eat a Block of Tofu" by (?) My Bike is a Pipebomb. It's set to the tune of "Pick a Bale of Cotton" (which Muddy Waters does a great version of). "Tofu" is hilarious.

Mister

"Let me Ride" by Dr. Dre (from The Chronic) is the most obvious. There's also a track "The Potion" on the new Ludacris LP that breaks down into that "Pick a Bale of Cotton" slave holler.

James Richards

Hi there!

I'm currently researching why people blog about their work - either openly or anonymously, and would like you to complete a quick questionnaire on this subject.

It can be found at:

http://www.my3q.com/home2/62/apr2112/24991.phtml

If you visit my blog you will see some of research findings so far. I have also got links to over 150 work-related blogs on my site and currently you are one of them.

Please let me know if you object to this in anyway.

Thanks for your time and I look forward any response.

James

ripley

Hiya, found you through BitchPhD

I don't have a specific song in mind, though I may do a little digging and get back to you.. I'm curious as to who samples religious/church tunes in hiphop.

i'm a grad student (and dj), but not yet starting teaching. But speaking from my own experience and my observation of other classes, I wanted to generally give a shout out for the "Eyes on the Prize" series.

I don't know if it's at your school, but if you have any way to get access to it to show it to your students, it's an amazingly powerful use of historical documents- tons of actual footage of people, including grassroots people, not just the big names. No actors, lots of actual voices and footage of the people themselves speaking their minds. Hard to find nowadays but nearly anyone who watched public TV in the 80s can remember its effect on them.

Mister

There's also a new song "Swang Down/10 a Key" by Pimp C (the incarcerated half of UGK) that uses "Sweet Chariot."

Eyes on the Prize is moving and powerful but is seen as myopic and misleadingly optimistic by a lot of people in the movement.

fred

Thanks for the great film suggestion. I just ordered it for next year.

EdWonk

The library of congress has some actual recordings of ex-slaves that were made during the Great Depression.

The equipment used was (as you might expect) primitive, (phonograph records) but there is no substitute for actually listening to the words spoken by the ex-slaves themselves. I'm sure that you can find these recordings as a download somewhere on the 'net.

I listened to these recordings a few years ago. One can hear the emotion from across the years as the people who were actually there describe both bondage and the Day Freedom Finally Arrived.

I hope that you post again very soon.

Sam

The ex-slave interviews are at the American Memory Project, http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/. Click "African American History" and search "slave recording." And then explore the rest of the site, because it is an amazing resource.

Scott

Adding to the person who brought up Public Enemy their song "Can't Truss It" deals directly with slavery, they also have a great song about Martin Luther King Jr called "By the Time I Get to Arizona."

geoff

I imagine it's too late but the Kanye West CD also has a whole track- "I'll fly away" I think it's track three. your first comment on this stated that Kanye is very current. He sings Tenor in that one, I believe- it's a great four-part a capella bit but it may help in the future. Also- Talib Kweli has a few references as well... I'll see if I can rustle them up for you.

Thomas

There is a connection you might want to use.

Nina Simone, the great jazz singer did a version of an old slave spiritual in the 50's called Sinnerman. The song was used in the movie The Thomas Crown Affair, and was recently sampled by Talib Kweli (2004) in his recent hit "Get By".

Mr. Tadge O'Brien

You should check out the song "Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday, it is a very moving song, and the imagery in it is great. There is even a remixed version by Tricky and Tool. Also check out the Documenting the American South Project at UNC. There are some really intriguing stories on there. I am a history teacher at heart, and think that the link to English in the case would be awesome!

kk

Hi there!

I'm currently researching why people blog about their work - either openly or anonymously, and would like you to complete a quick questionnaire on this subject.

It can be found at:

http://www.my3q.com/home2/62/apr2112/24991.phtml

If you visit my blog you will see some of research findings so far. I have also got links to over 150 work-related blogs on my site and currently you are one of them.

Please let me know if you object to this in anyway.

Thanks for your time and I look forward any response.

James


Posted by: James Richards | 02.05.2005 at 12:26 PM

Hiya, found you through BitchPhD

I don't have a specific song in mind, though I may do a little digging and get back to you.. I'm curious as to who samples religious/church tunes in hiphop.

i'm a grad student (and dj), but not yet starting teaching. But speaking from my own experience and my observation of other classes, I wanted to generally give a shout out for the "Eyes on the Prize" series.

I don't know if it's at your school, but if you have any way to get access to it to show it to your students, it's an amazingly powerful use of historical documents- tons of actual footage of people, including grassroots people, not just the big names. No actors, lots of actual voices and footage of the people themselves speaking their minds. Hard to find nowadays but nearly anyone who watched public TV in the 80s can remember its effect on them.

Posted by: ripley | 05.05.2005 at 10:54 PM

There's also a new song "Swang Down/10 a Key" by Pimp C (the incarcerated half of UGK) that uses "Sweet Chariot."

Eyes on the Prize is moving and powerful but is seen as myopic and misleadingly optimistic by a lot of people in the movement.

Posted by: Mister | 06.05.2005 at 05:48 PM

Thanks for the great film suggestion. I just ordered it for next year.

Posted by: fred | 15.05.2005 at 04:16 PM

The library of congress has some actual recordings

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