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I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS The Power of Expression in the African-American Experience.

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Presentation on theme: "I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS The Power of Expression in the African-American Experience."— Presentation transcript:

1 I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS The Power of Expression in the African-American Experience

2 Introduction  DAY 1 DAY 1  DAY 2 DAY 2  DAY 3 DAY 3  DAY 4 DAY 4  DAY 5 DAY 5

3 What do you know about slavery? What have you been taught about it in school? Freewrite: SLAVERY

4 Quaker Read  The Quakers practice their faith without any preacher or minister.  They sit together, in silence, letting one another speak out loud whenever he or she feels like it.  Create a list of words or ideas you associate with slavery. We will sit in silence, and you will say any words or phrases listed in your brainstorm.

5 Poem: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings 1. What is the overall theme of the poem? 2. How does this poem relate to slavery?

6 1. Describe the tone of Douglass’ letter. Are you surprised by his tone, or the language he uses? 2. Explain why Douglass is writing the letter. What are his goals in writing his master? 3. Summarize the arguments Douglass makes as to why he deserved to be free and why his former master should give up owning slaves. 4. Explain how, by writing this letter, and welcoming his former master to his own home, Douglass is practicing not only compassion, but also non-violence, in making a very important point about how human beings ought to treat one another. Douglass’ Letter to his Former Master

7 Homework 1. What is the connection between African culture and Negro spirituals? 2. How is religious language and imagery used in the songs to symbolize slavery? 3. What is the emotional tone of the spirituals? What makes them so powerful? 4. Describe how the songs have been used in the last 150 years as times have changed for African- Americans.

8 Beloved questions 1. Why would freed slaves need to be given permission to laugh, cry, or dance? 2. Why would Baby Suggs tell the congregation to love their own hands? 3. What is significant about how the slaves sing and dance? 4. How is song and dance connected to freedom in these clips?

9 How songs have changed over the years The different ways songs were arranged (e.g. call and response) The religious meaning of the songs Homework: Negro Spirituals

10 Should slaves have resorted to violence to break free from slavery? How can music be used to resist oppression in a non-violent way? What does it mean to be non- violent? Was Douglass non-violent in his letter to his former master? Were slavemasters “evil”? Is it possible to have compassion for them? Why or why not? Slavery and Nonviolence

11 Slavery Image Assign yourself the role of –1 Slave- 2 Master –3 Other Slaves- 4 Other White Man Answer these questions as you view: What kinds of violence do you see here? If you are the person or persons in this image, what is going through your mind as this violence takes place? What is the spiritual or emotional impact of this event on your life if you are the slave, or master, etc?


13 Person/ PersonsInternal ThoughtsLasting Impact Slave Slave Master Other Slaves Other White Man Comparing Perspectives

14 Freewrite: Quote “All men are brothers. If you harm me, you harm yourself.” Explain what this quote means and whether or not you agree with his message.

15 Dr. King Dr. Martin Luther King was the person who said, “All men are brothers. If you harm me, you harm yourself.” Does this change how you feel about the message of the quote? Why do you think Dr. King didn’t believe in using violence?

16 Key Words Nonviolence Compassion Forgiveness What do these words mean? How do they relate to our study of slavery?

17 WHY DOES THE CAGED BIRD SING? In the last week you have learned about the experiences of African-American slaves. Using your notes and memories from each day’s lesson, write a reflective essay in which you: 1) summarize your prior/initial thoughts on slavery; 2) describe specific moments throughout the week that impacted you in some way, explaining how you grew through the process; 3) explain what you learned about nonviolent resistance. Your essay should specifically address not only why spirituals were an effective form of spiritual resistance for slaves, but continue to have political meaning for African- Americans after slavery was abolished.

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