Freedom Songs with Imani Uzuri

Happy summer friends! I have been learning a lot and finding new resources in the past few weeks, and I just couldn’t wait until a new school year to share some of the things I’m learning with you! There are these amazing Musical Explorers lessons from Carnegie Hall that I wasn’t familiar with before, and I wanted to share one of them with you today. You can go to the link above to see exactly where all of this came from, but I’ve simplified it into a lesson you can do at home right here.

First, let’s meet Imani Uzuri:

Read about Imani Uzuri here, too!  Let’s learn her medley of 3 freedom songs:

Here are the rest of the lyrics to the 3 freedom songs Imani Uzuri used for the medley. Which lyrics did she use from each? Try singing the rest of the songs next.

You can create your own freedom song medley! Think about how Imani Uzuri created hers first. Look at the parts she used from each song. How did she use each part? How are these 3 songs similar? Why do they work well together? Choose your favorite part of each song-that could be just one line, a verse, whatever you want. Once you’ve chosen a favorite part for each song, consider how they should go together-what part makes sense to come first, second, third? Keep it simple and repeat the parts you have chosen more than once to combine them into your own freedom song. If you want to share your freedom song with me, you can email me a video of you singing it, or post it on ClassDojo!


4th and 5th graders, keep the learning going: Read this quick paragraph about Freedom singers from the 1960s. Do you recognize anyone? The 1960s happened more than 50 years ago, but continue to have an impact today. Can you find an older family member, friend of the family, or community member who remembers that time?

If you can, ask them about their memories. Were they in the United States? Did they take part in the Civil Rights Movement or in other protests that were happening? You can also ask your parents if they know any family stories about the 1960s.

Ask your family members what music from the 1960s they like and listen to. Listen to some of their favorite songs with them. Which songs do you like, and why?

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