P.S. 119 Amersfort School of Social Awareness

P.S. 119 Amersfort School of Social Awareness

Magnet School of Global & Ethical Studies – 3829 Avenue K, Brooklyn NY 11210 (718) 377-7696

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From WE SHALL OVERCOME To YES WE CAN!: Our First African-American President

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

I. Slavery in the New World: Which Side Are You On?
II. Abolitionists & The Underground Railroad
III. The Civil War: A Moral Dilemma Tears Apart The Nation
IV. Reconstruction: From Bondage to the Ballot Box to Public Office
V. The Jim Crow Era
VI. We Shall Overcome: Brown v. The Board of Education
VII. I Have A Dream: The Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s
VIII. African Americans in High Places in the USA
IX. Yes We Can: Barack Obama Becomes Our First African-American President
X. Recording Session

Shepard Fairey

© Shepard Fairey

I. Slavery in the New World: Which Side Are You On?

The teaching artist will sing two of the greatest songs he knows. Amazing Grace was written by John Newton in 1772. The song is about the redemption of a Transatlantic slave trader who finds his moral compass while at sea. Go Down Moses is about the freeing of the Jewish slaves in Egypt in biblical times. It was also associated with Harriet Tubman, who was known as the Black Moses because she freed 300 slaves from the South.

 

Wikipedia

(Left) Scene in Whitehall Street, Atlanta, Georgia, 1864. Note building with sign reading “Auction & Negro Sales”, a slave trade business. Slave auction ad (middle) On right: Scars of a whipped slave (April 2, 1863, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. Original caption: Overseer Artayou Carrier whipped me. I was two months in bed sore from the whipping. My master come after I was whipped; he discharged the overseer. The very words of poor Peter, taken as he sat for his picture. – Wikipedia

The classes will sing the songs with the teaching artist & lead teacher and brainstorm lyric ideas.

Songs: Amazing Grace (versions by: (Mahalia JacksonAaron Neville); Go Down Moses (versions by: Golden Gate Quartet Paul RobesonLouis Armstrong).

Time: One 45 minute period.

Picture credits:

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II. Abolitionists & The Underground Railroad

The teaching artist will sing these very powerful songs about slavery, resistance and escape. We will discuss John Brown, Peg Leg Joe, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner and other resistance leaders.

First Image: The Official Medallion of the British Anti-Slavery Society, 1795, Josiah Wedgwood; Second Image: Quaker Handbook on Slavery (Library of Congress); Third Image: John Brown; Fourth Image: Sojourner Truth; Fifth Image: Frederick Douglass (Wikipedia except where noted)

First Image: The Official Medallion of the British Anti-Slavery Society, 1795, Josiah Wedgwood; Second Image: Quaker Handbook on Slavery (Library of Congress); Third Image: John Brown; Fourth Image: Sojourner Truth (LOC); Fifth Image: Frederick Douglass (Wikipedia except where noted)

The class will sing the songs with the teaching artist & lead teacher and brainstorm lyric ideas.

Songs: Swing Low Sweet Chariot (versions by: Etta JamesHarry Belafonte); Follow The Drinking Gourd (versions by: The WeaversTaj Mahal); John Brown’s Body, I’m On My Way To Freedom (Canaan) Land (version by Mahalia Jackson.

Time: One 45 minute period.

Wikipedia & Other Links:

Picture credits:

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III. The Civil War: A Moral Dilemma Tears Apart The Nation

We will discuss the reasons that led to the war and what each side was fighting for. We will talk about Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Jefferson Davis, the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 which freed slaves only in Confederate area occupied by the Union, and the 13th Amendment of 1865 which abolished slavery.

Hands of all colors fought against slavery - Abraham Lincoln - Union & Confederate Soldiers - Jefferson Davis (President of Confederacy) - Hands of all colors fought to put our country back together

Hands of all colors fought against slavery – Abraham Lincoln – Union & Confederate Soldiers – Jefferson Davis (President of Confederacy) – Hands of all colors fought to put our country back together

The classes will sing the songs with the teaching artist & lead teacher and brainstorm lyric ideas.

Songs: What Are We Fighting For? (the Civil War version of this original song), When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again (instrumental version by Fife & Drum), Dixie.

Time: One 45 minute period.

Links:

Photo Credits:

Other links about the Civil War:

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IV. Reconstruction: From Bondage to the Ballot Box to Public Office

John Wilkes Booth - Assassination of Lincoln at the Ford Theatre - Andrew Johnson (CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE)

John Wilkes Booth – Assassination of Lincoln at the Ford Theatre – Andrew Johnson (CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE)

Reconstruction (1863 to 1877) focused on 3 primary issues:

  • Abolishing slavery

  • Restoring the Confederate states back into the Union

  • Establishing the rights of Freedmen (freed slaves)

We will discuss Lincoln’s assassination, and Andrew Johnson’s efforts to derail Reconstruction and the unsuccessful attempts to impeach him. During this era quite a few African Americans were elected to office. These amendments to the Constitution led to voting equality:

  • The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in 1865.

  • The 14th Amendment in 1868 guaranteed citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the USA, except Native Americans and women, and granted them civil rights.

 

  • The 15th Amendment in 1870 declared that the right to vote could not be denied because of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. It did not guarantee the vote however, it only prohibited specific types of discrimination while allowing the states the right to establish their own electoral policies, the Black Codes, which should disenfranchise voters.

 

Meanwhile, there were six-hundred and thirty-three State Legislators, two U.S. Senators, and fifteen U.S. Congressmen elected to office between 1870-1876 who were African Americans.

After the war, African Americans searched with varying degrees of success for family members separated by slave sales or by the disruptions of war. - Even as an enslaved people, African-Americans maintained strong family ties. After emancipation, African-Americans struggled to reunite families that had been disrupted by sale and many couples legalized their marriages. -Before the Civil War, slave marriages had no legal standing. - Education, denied them under slavery, was essential to the African-American understanding of freedom. - Despite the hardships of slavery, African Americans maintained a rich tradition of art and handicrafts.

After the war, African Americans searched with varying degrees of success for family members separated by slave sales or by the disruptions of war. – Even as an enslaved people, African-Americans maintained strong family ties. After emancipation, African-Americans struggled to reunite families that had been disrupted by sale and many couples legalized their marriages. -Before the Civil War, slave marriages had no legal standing. – Education, denied them under slavery, was essential to the African-American understanding of freedom. – Despite the hardships of slavery, African Americans maintained a rich tradition of art and handicrafts. – Digital History

The classes will sing the songs with the teaching artist & lead teacher and brainstorm lyric ideas.

Songs: Lift Every Voice And Sing (version by Harmonizing Four).

Time: One 45 minute period.

Other links:

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V. The Jim Crow Era

Jim Crow laws restricted the rights of African Americans in many states between 1876 and 1965. The Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 that public places could be segregated along racial lines. The court ruled that “separate but equal” facilities were constitutional. The Ku Klux Klan became a very powerful force of intimidation in the nation.

Jim Crow cartoon - Signs from the Jim Crow Era - Lynchings - Emmett Till (killed in 1955 just for the color of his skin) - Billie Holiday (singer of Strange Fruit) - Matthew Shepard (killed in 1998 just for being gay)

Jim Crow cartoon – Signs from the Jim Crow Era – Lynchings – Emmett Till (killed in 1955 just for the color of his skin) – Billie Holiday (singer of Strange Fruit) – Matthew Shepard (killed in 1998 just for being gay)

The classes will sing the songs with the teaching artist & lead teacher and brainstorm lyric ideas.

Songs: Strange Fruit (version by Billie Holiday); Black And Blue; One Man, One Vote (the Jim Crow section of this original song).

Time: One 45 minute period.

Photo credits:

Other links:

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VI. We Shall Overcome: Brown v. The Board of Education Integrates Public Schools in 1954

The Supreme Court ruled in a landmark case called Brown v. Board of Education that separate was inherently unequal and therefore- unconstitutional. We will learn about Thurgood Marshall and this major victory for civil rights. In 1955, Rosa Parks would defy a law that segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama. We will learn how President Eisenhower had to call in the Arkansas National Guard and US Army troops to protect the Little Rock Nine who were trying to attend a white school there in 1957.

Rosa Parks with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King - Little Rock Nine - Norman Rockwells depiction of Ruby Bridges - Presidents Eisenhower & Kennedy - Justice Thurgood Marshall

Rosa Parks with The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Little Rock Nine – Norman Rockwell’s depiction of Ruby Bridges – Presidents Eisenhower & Kennedy – Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall

The classes will sing the songs with the teaching artist & lead teacher and brainstorm lyric ideas.

Songs: We Shall Overcome (version by Mahalia Jackson); Back Of The Bus (Pete Seeger); We Shall Not Be Moved.

Time: One 45 minute period.

Picture credits:

Links:

<<BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS>>

VII. I Have A Dream: The Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s

This period was particularly chaotic in the USA with Vietnam War protests, civil rights protests, angry white backlash, and police brutality. There were church bombings and lynchings as well as the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and others. Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that outlawed segregation, and The Voting Rights Act of 1965 that guaranteed the right to vote. We will listen to the stirring words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s most famous speech I Have A Dream. We will discuss other civil rights leaders like Rosa Parks, Fanny Lou Hamer, A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, James Farmer, John Lewis.

People at a Civil Rights protest - Malcolm X - Sen. Robert F. Kennedy - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Bayard Rustin - Fannie Lou Hamer - Rep. John Lewis

People at a Civil Rights protest – Malcolm X – Sen. Robert F. Kennedy – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Bayard Rustin – Fannie Lou Hamer – Rep. John Lewis

The classes will sing the songs with the teaching artist & lead teacher and brainstorm lyric ideas.

Songs: Oh Freedom (alternate lyric) (version by Pete Seeger); Marching To Freedom Land; Civil Rights Story (original spoken word); One Man, One Vote (Civil Rights section of this original song).

Time: One 45 minute period.

Photo credits:

Other links-

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VIII. African Americans in High Places in the USA

Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Diahann Carroll, and others broke color lines early on in the struggle. Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson, Carol Moseley Braun, and Al Sharpton each ran for President before Barack Obama’s election in 2008 over John McCain. Also, in 1872 Frederick Douglass became the first African American nominated as a Vice Presidential candidate on the Equal Rights Party ticket with Victoria Woodhull the first woman to run for President.Over the years, other African Americans were elected as Senators or Governors.

In 1872 Lieutenant Governor P. B. S. Pinchback of Louisiana replaced his predecessor Governor Henry Clay Warmoth when he was removed from office. Pinchback served 35 days. In 1989 Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the first African American Governor to be elected in the nation’s history. In 2006 Deval Patrick of Massachusetts became the 2nd African American Governor elected. In 2008 David Paterson of NY became the fourth African American Governor when he succeeded Eliot Spitzer who resigned in the midst of a scandal.

Top Row:

Top Row: Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens, Louis Armstrong; Middle Row: Nat King Cole, Jesse Jackson, Diahann Carroll, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Anne Moseley; Bottom Row: Al Sharpton, Audre Lorde, Bayard Rustin, Barbara Jordan, James Baldwin

The classes will sing the songs with the teaching artist & lead teacher and brainstorm lyric ideas.

Songs: A Change Is Gonna Come (version by Sam Cooke); Say It Out Loud (I’m Black & I’m Proud) – James Brown

Time: One 45 minute period.

Audre Lorde - James Baldwin - Bayard Rustin - Barbara Jordan - Commemorative Stamps designed by © Frank H. Jump

Audre Lorde – James Baldwin – Bayard Rustin – Barbara Jordan – LGBT Commemorative Stamps designed by © Frank H. Jump

 

Photo credits-

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IX. “Yes We Can”: Barack Obama Becomes the First African American President

Students will start to finish writing their original lyrics about President Obama, the greater historical context of his election, and the students’ own dreams for the future.

© Shepard Fairey

© Shepard Fairey

Songs: Whichever songs the students choose. Yes We Can Obama!

Time: Two 45 minute periods.

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X. Recording Session.

The classes will record their original raps and/or lyrics using the teaching artist’s field recorder and Garageband. We will make CDs that will be given to the classes.

Michael Jackson, The Supremes, Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, P Diddy, Tupac Shakur

Michael Jackson, The Supremes, Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, P Diddy, Tupac Shakur

Links to:

Other notable African-American record producers:

FUTURE RECORDING ARTISTS:

Future Recording Artists:

Future Recording Artists: Zarif, Christian Jayden, Madonna, Jeremiah, Jalyn

<<BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS>>

PODCASTS OF LESSONS:

YES WE CAN! In Action:

Michael - Our technology intern.

Michael – Our technology intern.

Aniyah & Sarah

Aniyah & Sarah

Jayden

Jayden

Angeles & Jessica

Angeles & Jessica

Therese & Jalyn

Therese & Jalyn

Lliam

Lliam

Robert Bluesman Ross - Teaching Artist

Robert “Bluesman” Ross – Teaching Artist

Robert Bluesman Ross - Teaching Artist

Robert “Bluesman” Ross – Teaching Artist

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CLICK HERE FOR FULL PROJECT NARRATIVE

Project created and written by Robert “Bluesman” Ross
This project is made possible with funds from the Local Capacity Building Initiative, a regrant program of the Arts in Education Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by BRIC Arts / Media / Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

Project designed for blog by lead teacher, Frank H. Jump.

44 Responses to “From WE SHALL OVERCOME To YES WE CAN!: Our First African-American President”

  1. 1
    gberretta:

    Wow guys…I am impressed. Amazing. Good luck. If you need some starter couplets I am there for you. Very professional!

  2. 2
    gberretta:

    Great job guys! I think you make an awesome team!

  3. 3
    fifthgrade119:

    I am a slave,
    Life is not nice.
    Every slave has a price.
    We were bought
    They called us “Negroes.”
    The option was wrong,
    The masters think they were strong.
    Every day we bled blood.
    So we talk to the Lord.

    They beat us everyday.
    They talk to us the wrong way.
    We ran through the woods.
    They beat us to obey.
    They treat us like animals.
    We’ve lost our sons and daughters.
    We’ve lost our fathers and mothers.
    We’ve lost our sisters and brothers.
    Are we not created equal?
    Are we not like every other?
    I am a slave.
    I am a human being.

    Donfred 5-301

  4. 4
    fjump:

    Donfred- This is absolutely wonderful, touching and deeply moving. I am so looking forward to seeing what you are going to write for the next five weeks. So proud of you. Mr. Jump

  5. 5
    gberretta:

    Don Fred, I would just like to piggyback off of Mr. Jump’s comment–your writing is indeed absolutely wonderful, touching and deeply moving. I can tell you are walking in the land of the slave and I can feel the pain. I do hope that High John de Conquer travels with that slave to bring him comfort in laughter.I too am proud of you. Great job Don.–Mrs. Berretta

  6. 6
    fifthgrade119:

    I pray to the Lord that
    Everything’s okay
    I hear and see screaming
    Looking and smelling blood
    Working all day
    Everyday
    And at night
    Beatings
    Almost to death
    Someday I’m going to find my way
    Out of here
    Far away to freedom

    To the Underground Railroad
    One day I’m going to be free
    They shall not kill me
    They shall honor me
    With peace and care

    We sing a song saying
    Let My People Go
    Now it’s my time to be free
    I will leave by night
    And come back for others
    Let my people go!
    John 5-301

  7. 7
    fifthgrade119:

    I am a human being
    I’m not a slave
    We are being used
    We are being abused
    We never eat
    And we get beat
    We have no rights
    And cannot read or write
    We are human beings
    Our scars will not heal
    Slavery is WRONG!
    I know this even though I’m young.

    We are free!
    But we still have fear.
    When a slave died
    We died with pride
    We know we have rights
    So we fight
    The master knew it was wrong
    But we stay strong!
    We were whipped and chained
    I am a human being
    I’m NOT a slave!

    Donfred 5-301

  8. 8
    fourthgrade119:

    Yes We Can
    Yes We Did
    I don’t like slavery
    It’s bad
    I think we should stop it
    Before we all go mad!

    That’s why you should stay in school
    And always keep your cool
    Don’t make the teacher shout
    Just behave and don’t call out
    Think your thoughts
    Start thinking now
    Before time runs out

    Yes, we did it.
    Oh yes we did!

    Matthew 4-310

  9. 9
    fourthgrade119:

    Yes we can!
    Save the globe
    Then we can go through
    The Underground Railroad

    Now look at our present
    Now we have an African-American President!

    Harriet was a crafty slave
    Look at how many people she saved
    This is our most historic rap ever done
    Until the arising sun.

    Kevon 4-310

  10. 10
    fourthgrade119:

    Yes we can!
    At PS 119 We like to build peace
    Yes we will!
    You should come to this school
    Don’t stay in the streets
    Yes we did!
    You should find a friend and be kind to them
    You should think in your head
    Grab a pen
    Take a piece of paper
    And write down your thoughts

    About when we went to war
    And the South had lost
    That’s when we ended our holocaust

    Peace, peace, peace –
    Come and build some

    Peace, peace, peace –
    Come and build some-

    Our teacher is Ms LaRossa
    And she is very nice
    She always taught us
    To never ever fight

    That’s why we don’t
    That’s why we wrote

    Peace, peace, peace –
    Come and build some

    Peace, peace, peace –
    Come and build some

    WORD!
    PEACE!

    by Jeremiah & Matthew 4-310

  11. 11
    fourthgrade119:

    Yes we can
    Yes we did
    We can do it
    And so we did

    Before we had slavery
    And now it has ended
    Now we are free
    To do what we need

    Honest Abe got shot
    In the back of the head
    Andrew Johnson replaced him
    We still had to be lead

    Then the song
    Lift Evry Voice & Sing
    Was made

    Maya 4-310

  12. 12
    fjump:

    PARKING LOT:

    1) Which Caribbean Island nation first rid themselves of slavery?
    2) What happened to John Wilkes Booth after he was captured?
    3) How many slaves were there in the US? How many in the North? How many in the South?
    4) How many states were in the Union and Confederacy?
    5) How many people were living in the US States and Territories then?
    6) Did Andrew Johnson own slaves?

  13. 13
    fifthgrade119:

    I am a slave
    I do not like my job
    They call us dogs and we sob
    I am whiped and chained
    I think things will all ways be the same
    I will get out of here some day
    But now I must pray

    Wisley 5-301

  14. 14
    fifthgrade119:

    If I will die
    As a slave
    I die proud
    I won’t die mad
    I am not sad
    I did my part
    Through sweat
    Through tears
    Through scars
    Through fear
    I am a slave
    I am still here

    Elijah 5-301

  15. 15
    fifthgrade119:

    I am a slave
    I need my rights
    I need to be free
    My back has bruises
    From my master’s abuses
    I work all day
    For no pay
    When will we end slavery?

    George 5-301

  16. 16
    fifthgrade119:

    I thought all men were created equal?
    Then why am I in chains?
    I thought I had inalienable rights
    If I die today
    I die with pride
    Just knowing that fact that all men were not created equal
    And if I live
    Can I see the day
    When slavery ends?

    Tyreek 5-301

  17. 17
    teachingartist119:

    All of you students are just lighting it up! You’re off the charts! Fantabulous work!! Spectastic work!!
    Uh, I think some of my words got jumbled there. I like to do that sometimes. But, you know how much I love your work. And that’s what’s important.
    See you Monday.
    Bluesman

  18. 18
    teachingartist119:

    One more thing. Here’s my revised lyric to that Civil War song I wrote. I hope you dig it.
    WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR? (about the Civil War)
    By Robert Ross 6/22/04 – 5/26/09
    Verse 1
    WHAT CAUSED THE CIVIL WAR
    WHAT WERE WE FIGHTING FOR?
    TO PRESERVE THE UNION STRONG
    TO ABOLISH SLAVERY WRONG
    BUT ELEVEN CHOSE TO FIGHT
    AS IF OWNING SLAVES WAS THEIR RIGHT
    Verse 2
    BROTHERS FOUGHT AND KILLED AND DIED
    FOR VICTORY HONOR AND PRIDE
    THE HONOR OF SLAVERY
    THE PRIDE OF MASTERY
    FOR THEIR OWN FINANCIAL GAIN
    THEY WOULD USE THE WHIP AND CHAIN
    Chorus
    TELL ME PLEASE WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR?
    TELL ME PLEASE WHAT ARE WE DYING FOR?
    TELL ME PLEASE WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR?

    Verse 3
    TO BE FAIR AND TO BE TRUE
    THE NORTH ONCE HAD SLAVERY TOO
    SLAVE SHIPS HAD TO USE THEIR DOCKS
    THEY SOLD SLAVES ON AUCTION BLOCKS
    AND SLAVE LABOR KEPT PRICES LOW
    SO UNION PROFITS COULD FLOW
    Verse 4
    THEY CALLED IT THE LAND OF THE FREE
    AND THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY
    THEY SPOKE OF FREE AND EQUAL MEN
    FREE TO BE OWNED BY A PRESIDENT
    THE WHITE HOUSE WAS BUILT IN WASHINGTON
    AND SLAVERY WAS HOW IT GOT DONE
    Chorus
    TELL ME PLEASE WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR?
    TELL ME PLEASE WHAT ARE WE DYING FOR?
    TELL ME PLEASE WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR?

  19. 19
    fourthgrade119:

    The best place to go is PS 119
    We will give you a dream
    Slavery is uncool
    We have to get more peace tools
    We have to reconstruct
    Or else we will be completely stuck

    Now that we’re together
    We will make things better
    No more wars
    We can open doors
    If we open doors
    We will give you more
    That’s PS119
    That’s our dream

    Lliam & Kevon 4-310

  20. 20
    fourthgrade119:

    Yes we can
    Yes we did
    Our man ran
    On he we bid

    Finally we have an African-American President!
    To show the Confederacy we have a present
    I am black and I have a right
    Now the blacks have a lot of might
    The Confederacy would be mad
    All I know is slavery is bad

    Yes we can
    Yes we did
    Our man ran
    On he we bid!

    Jayden 4-310

  21. 21
    fourthgrade119:

    This is a sad story
    Segregation was not necessary
    They killed Emmett Till
    Just for whistling at a white lady
    He lost his life which was not fair
    He was visiting his grandma
    But the killers didn’t care

    Justin & Tyrel 4-310

  22. 22
    fourthgrade119:

    Obama is the President
    McCain went through the door
    Obama wanted to make gas prices
    As low as $1.94
    The first half black president elected
    He’s figuring out what to do
    But thank god he went to school
    We’re at PS119
    Coming fresh and clean

    Justin & Tyrel 4-310

  23. 23
    fifthgrade119:

    A year ago my life collapsed around me
    I’d work until exhaustion
    Or until my toes would really bleed
    Little did I know at the time
    Out of my greatest despair
    Was to come the greatest gift I’d ever been given

    A glimpse of a great secret
    The secret to life
    One by one
    The secret began to emerge
    I became a magnet
    As I began to search one great living master
    After another was drawn to me
    I am not a slave
    I am me.

    Elijah 5-301

  24. 24
    fifthgrade119:

    Many times I wonder
    Why I live on Earth
    With dangerous weapons of mass destruction
    I wonder why peace is not here yet
    I don’t feel or hear anything
    Wait
    I do
    I hear and feel
    The world is slowly rotting away

    Tyreek 5-301

  25. 25
    fifthgrade119:

    Why can’t I learn?
    Why can’t I go to school?
    Just because white people don’t like me
    When will this stop?
    Leave me alone
    Somebody stop this mess.

    George 5-301

  26. 26
    fifthgrade119:

    I am a slave
    Why do I get beaten?
    Abolish slavery!
    Abolish slavery!
    Please, I hate being a slave
    I work all the time
    Bleeding
    Crying
    Sweating
    Stop slavery
    I am me.

    Brian 5-301

  27. 27
    fifthgrade119:

    I am not a slave
    I am free
    I’m not part of slavery
    Slavery does not have me
    I am free!

    Wisley 5-301

  28. 28
    fifthgrade119:

    When I went to school
    Whites were staring at me
    Because I’m black
    I wanted freedom
    Blacks should be mixed
    With Whites in the same schools
    Keep staring because
    I’m still here
    Blacks and whites need
    To be brought together

    Raymond 5-301

  29. 29
    fifthgrade119:

    wisley your witing is amazing from your friend

  30. 30
    fjump:

    Yes Wisley! Your writing is amazing and so is yours Raymond, Elijah, Brian, George, Tyreek, & Donfred! I’m proud of the Gentlemen’s Class’s incredible work!

    Kudo’s to Ms. LaRossa’s class as well. Justin, Tyrel, Jayden, Lliam, Kevon, Jeremiah, & Matthew… I’m speechless.

  31. 31
    fifthgrade119:

    I am not a slave
    I have a heart
    You will never take away
    I have hope
    You will never take away
    I have freedom
    You will never take away
    I am not a slave

    Donfreindy 5-301

  32. 32
    fourthgrade119:

    Everybody! Let’s go! Let’s go!
    To the Underground Railroad
    No. NO! HERE!
    To the North. Wow!
    It’s so nice here.
    It is, but we are not there.
    We’re near
    Don’t fear
    We got there!
    Finally a new year.
    No more whipping
    No more scars
    More and more freedom
    We finally got there.
    We are here.

    Zarif 4-310

  33. 33
    fourthgrade119:

    Peace is quiet
    No more riots
    Obama is president
    He doesn’t like the Confederates
    PS119 is the best
    Rosa Parks confessed
    Stay in school
    So in the summer
    You can be in the pool
    Frederick Douglass was trained
    And slavery stopped way before
    Obama came
    We love God
    We love Obama

    Matthew & Lliam 4-310

  34. 34
    fjump:

    Yes we are 119
    We rule peace
    We rule these streets through peace
    You can’t beat me
    Cause I’m at PS 119

    Obama was elected President
    I saw it on TV
    I saw it and so did PS 119
    This is PS 119
    You can’t beat me

    I’m bright like the sun
    When I come
    You will be done
    You don’t know me
    When people come to fight me
    I’m about peace
    I’m about PS 119

    Fannie Lou Hamer got beat
    Thank God she stood on her feet
    She said “I’m sick and tired of being
    Sick and tired”
    She said that she was on fire

    I’m bright like the sun
    When I come
    You will be done
    You don’t know me
    When people come to fight me
    I’m about peace
    I’m about PS 119

    Yes we are 119
    We rule peace
    We rule these streets through peace
    You can’t beat me
    Cause I’m at PS 119

    Justin & Matthew 4-310

  35. 35
    fjump:

    I am black and proud
    To be myself
    You can beat me
    Kill me
    I’m always going to be black
    Everyday and every night
    I am black
    And proud

    John 5-301

  36. 36
    fjump:

    I was a slave
    Knowing it until my grave
    We got beat
    We hardly eat
    I am on my knees
    And always bleed

    We were born
    We picked corn
    We were picked and bought
    And died
    People don’t like us
    We had to sit in the back of the bus

    Donfred 5-301

  37. 37
    fjump:

    Obama is the man
    Yes he can
    Come and see the Bluezman
    And listen to him jam
    He teaches us a lot
    About our history
    And what we’ve got
    From the people who fought for freedom
    It ain’t no mystery

    Obama rocks the White House
    And rules as President
    I wish he’d come to my house
    And be my resident

    Ashanie, Sarah, Madonna & Therese 4-310

  38. 38
    fjump:

    I knew the 4-310 Girlz would represent!

  39. 39
    fourthgrade119:

    You might get amnesia Because he lived in Indonesia It’s barack obama I gotta get my mama He also lived in Chicago Then he went to mexico to get some nachos Thats a rap from 4-310’s Christian & Kevon

  40. 40
    fjump:

    I was held down
    And beat to my knees
    My master would say
    I’d never see the light of day
    He pushed me into a dark room
    Locked the door and threw away the key
    I started to cry and thirteen times he lashed me
    Then I took all my clothes
    And stole away to Freedom land
    And followed my way to the North

    John 5-301

  41. 41
    fjump:

    I need my freedom land
    I am poor without a hand
    Nobody wants to let me go
    They never think I will ever know

    I hope I get a chance
    They never make people
    Have the right to dance
    They want to separate us
    They don’t think we have trust

    They don’t give us equal rights
    That’s why we always gotta fight
    They think we gonna leave
    They don’t think we will achieve

    Yes we can
    Yes we will
    Yes we did

    Mark & Akeil 5-301

  42. 42
    fifthgrade119:

    The song was maybe what she saw when she was walking home. I also think it was during the civil war because the part when she said the blood on the leafs. It’s sad she had a hard life while she was a famous person.

  43. 43
    fifthgrade119:

    The song was maybe what she saw when she was walking home. I also think it was during the civil war because the part when she said the blood on the leafs. It’s sad she had a hard life while she was a famous person.

  44. 44
    P.S. 119 Amersfort School of Social Awareness » Black History Month: Featuring the Life of Frederick Douglass:

    […] ALSO CHECK OUT OUR BLOG-QUEST – From WE SHALL OVERCOME To YES WE CAN!: Our First African-American President […]

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