I don’t know why, but I feel particularly exhausted and drained this week. One of the acts of self care that I’ve been making sure to do is listening to music that uplifts my spirits on my commute. I’ve been listening to “Young, Gifted, and Black” which was originally written by Nina Simone, but has been performed by countless other performers, including Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, and Bob+Marcia Griffiths.
I then remembered that this past summer, I created a close reading that allows students to analyze this poem. This was an intentional choice to close out a summer program for African American students in a scholarship program with a message of uplift and racial pride. However, I don’t think one should hesitate to utilize this with any population of students. It benefits students from all backgrounds to understand the importance of instilling pride in one’s self, despite being a member of a marginalized group. You might utilize this in a larger unit about protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s, or in a study of the Black Power movement.
You should definitely play some clips of the song before or during the act of doing this close reading. Here are some options for you:
- Nina Simone’s original version, performed live (begins with interview)
- Aretha Franklin’s version (gospel, kids seem to prefer this one btw)
- Donny Hathaway’s version (soul)
- Bob and Marcia Griffith’s version (reggae)
Enjoy and let me know what you think! Here is a link to the resource for your free download: Close Reading of Young Gifted and Black
Please feel free to follow my store at the this link: Link to Black Reading Teacher Store
Happy Thursday, bookworms. 🙂 Enjoy your 3-day weekend in honor of Dr. King. I will likely be posting some resources you could use Tuesday to examine Dr. King’s rhetoric, so stay tuned.