When I was 4 years old Dr. King was asasinated. This is the America that I grew up in. Part Cherokee, Choctaw, and African slave. Some things we didn't speak about. Some conversations were held at church. School was fascinating because many children didn't look like me, but I f n answering these questions, I've found a way. There's really no textbook for such lessons.
Songs of Freedom is a presentation that collaboratively with educators, elevates compassion & understanding about who we are as a nation of diverse peoples who all have infinite potential. As a Teaching & Performing Artist, I want to prepare young people for a world that needs tech-savvy citizens who have compassion, harmony, empathy & love as their # way of being.
Often passively receiving information from teachers, computers & textbooks, Songs of Freedom instead engages students in activities as observational historians — making sense of the many stories, events & ideas of the past they've encountered, through viewing photos, hearing stories, singing songs, & further analysis. When juxtaposed with current events, skills for making sense out of the world today are screaming out to be addressed.
Songs of Freedom accelerates:
- Global and cultural awareness
- Information literacy
- Civic literacy and citizenship
- Oral communication skills
- Social responsibility and ethics
- Technology literacy
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Creativity and imagination
- Critical thinking
- Problem solving
Focusing on two pivotal times in American history: Slavery and the Civil Rights Movement, countered with conversations about life in America 2018. Songs of Freedom helps students connect historical dates, stories, places & events, while viewing slides of historical moments.
Understanding the past makes a better future. Songs of Freedom is an opportunity for young people to participate in the national discussion of race & non-violence 50 years after the assignation of Dr. King with his global game changing I Have A Dream speech about human rights for all people.
Alongside with my Friends, I endeavor to tell important stories of times in American history from my American Choctaw & African American roots. People have gathered for peaceful change for generations, yet many lives were lost. Now in 2018, are we reliving history? I'm proud about how students organized on March 14th, 2018 not just a local, but national and global response to how unsafe students are feeling at school nowadays. I hear them loudly, and I'm responding. Our Songs of Freedom is of empathy & forgiveness; a wonderful attitude to model.
The acoustic texture of this acapella concert with a contiguous slideshow coordinating familiar images to the storytelling thru the music is a powerful physical experience as well. Songs of Freedom is presented by four dynamic singers using harmonic artistry, poetry and movement to demonstrate the American voices of freedom. Using star quality talents, like those represented in the award winning film about musicians, 20 Feet From Stardom famed musicians Patti Dunham, Keith Fluitt, Chuk Fowler & Hasan Bakr celebrate these historic eras singing freedom & protest songs like We Shall Overcome, If I Had a Hammer, People Get Ready and Marchin' Down to Selma. We share our own personal stories as well as orchestrate a constant Q & A flow during & post performance.
For the past 10 years I've been blessed to perform & hone the collective intellectual capital of us elders for young people.
Successful political, social, & economic advances in the US during this millennium will be possible only if the intellectual potential of American youth is nurtured & developed now. During the work of art, I witness the audience take ownership of their ideals & beliefs during the Q & A, listening to each other's word with great respect.
Songs Of Freedom is the conversation piece.
Curriculum connections include multi-cultural studies & American History. Art forms include music, social studies, and storytelling. Approximately 90 minutes w/Q & A. Suggested for grades 4 thru 6 & 5 thru 8. There's a primary version that focuses on the music and singing, visuals, & history as bullet points. Suggested audience size in a school setting is 300 students max. Theatres up to 2500. Study guide & song list avail. Avail. bilingual with Spanish.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
“I found this show to be the best this season. It was engaging, entertaining, and educational, appropriate for all ages. ”
— Albuquerque, NM - Popejoy Hall
“This show was outstanding!! The interaction with the audience and engagement of the students was outstanding!! Please have them back!”
— Educator in Albuquerque, Popejoy Hall Education Department