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I have added the excerpts from the letters of Nelly Custis Lewis to my lesson that is posted above so it is complete now.

My lesson uses the letters of Nelly Custis Lewis to explore the lives of women in this era. It also teaches students how to analyze a primary source. I have attached a form I created to help students do this entitled, "Be the Historian Toolkit: Analyzing a Primary Source." This form can be used with any primary source. I have also attached the lesson plan. I am not done selecting and typing the excerpts from the letters. This process is taking a long time and I will probably not get it posted until Tuesday. In addition to posting the excerpts, I will also try to post an additional source for extending the lesson that I have in my resources at home.

Thanks for posting all the pics!

Hi Cindi and and Charley,

I just spoke to a customer service rep, Brandon, from Super Shuttle {(800) BLUE-VAN (800-258-3826)}.

1. He advised, Cindi, that it's not too late to phone and request a switch from the sedan to the cheaper shuttle bus.

2. He also said that a trip could be booked at the airport and passengers could share expenses.

3. I just decided to go ahead and book a ride for my earlier arrival. Safe travels, everyone, and see you tomorrow.


This is a short assignment using two primary sources-- George Washington Cables' description of Congo Square and the drawing of "The Bamboula" by E.W. Kemble. I'm working on a longer lesson plan and will post that when it is done.


I have an early departure on the 4th as well--8:00 a.m. flight--any interest in sharing a cab to CHO?


When we had this exhibit on display at the park in the summer of 2011, we found possible errors within the exhibit. Those errors are as follows:

On Panel 1, upper 2nd section, the photograph of the “Abraham Lincoln’s birth cabin, near Hodgenville, KY., c. 1902,” is not the
cabin displayed within the Memorial Building. It is, however, the Lincoln cabin, supposedly built by Abraham and his father, Thomas, around 1831 in Coles County, Illinois. The photograph for the exhibit is listed from the Library of Congress, which may have it labeled incorrectly and this was just passed on to the exhibit.

On Panel 3, upper 1st section, the photograph of “Abraham Lincoln, General McClellan, and Union Soldiers at the Fifth Army Corps Headquarters, Washington D.C., by Fritz-John Porter, September 1862,” reads as if Fritz-John Porter (his name is misspelled, should be Fitz-John Porter) was the photographer who took the photograph. However, Fitz-John Porter was in actuality the commander of the Fifth Corps of the Army of the Potomac and was not a photographer of the period.

On Panel 5, lower 4th section, the photograph “of Lincoln’s horse, “Old Bob,” Springfield, Ill., on the day of Lincoln’s funeral, April 1865,” is in
error in one of two aspects. If the photograph was taken in Springfield, Illinois the day of Lincoln’s funeral, then the dating is wrong as
Lincoln was buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield on May 4, 1865. If the dating is correct (April 1865) the photograph would have had to be taken in some other location. Lincoln’s funeral train departed Washington D.C. on April 21 and traveled through various cities with Lincoln lying in state in these cities along the way. The Lincoln Funeral train did not arrive in Springfield, Illinois until May 3, 1865.

Any questions let me know.

Gary Ferguson
Park Guide
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace NHP
2995 Lincoln Farm Road
Hodgenville, KY. 42748

group photo

Are any of you using the PEAK strategies or have gone to any of the trainings?

It is fitting that our time together ends on a great day: The 14th Amendment was officially adopted into the U.S. Constitution 144 years ago today, guaranteeing citizenship, and all of the privileges of citizenship, to African Americans.

Photos from our last evening with Gilder Lehrman in pdf


It sounds like everybody had figured out rides, but if anybody arrives in Charlottesville around 1:00 on Sunday and needs a ride, we have room for one person. You can call me at the airport in Charlottesville around 1:00 212 727-2710
Have a good trip

Yes, I'm using supershuttle. Amy, I have a sedan picking me up at 1:15. I scheduled a sedan kinda by accident, so I may see if I can switch it to the less costly "bus"...either way, if you want to share, you're more than welcome.
Looking forward to meeting everyone.

Hi there Allyson, this is Nuel. My flight going back to CHO is kind of late and I'm planning to be at CHO at the least by 11:30am. If there's anybody traveling back anytime in the afternoon by Aug.4,from 1-3pm,I could share a ride with you guys. You can contact me at Thanks..

This entire week has been amazing. I have learned so much from Shawn as well as the amazing teachers from around the country.

The biggest thing that I will take away from my week in Lawrence is all of the amazing knowledge that I have gained. One of the reasons I chose to attend this seminar is because I wanted to be able to bring a sense of appreciation for education back to my students of color. The information that I have learned and the experiences I had at both the Brown site and the lecture from members of the Brown family will allow me to share with my students the importance of education and the struggle that many before them had to endure so that they could have educational equality.

Thank you to Shawn, Kelly and all of the amazing teachers for a wonderful week.

Photos of the participants, presenters and scholars in pdf... enjoy!

I will add the photos I take at our reception on the last evening, later...

Emmett Till's Murder: the image of the telegram sent to President Eisenhower on behalf of Emmett Till's Mother.

FBI publication alleging the connections between the Communist Party and the Civil Rights Movement pdf.

Leota Brown Montgomery and Cheryl Brown Henderson visits the Gilder Lehrman Seminar on 7-23-2012.

Feel free to use the photos in this pdf as needed.

Brown v Board of Education Topeka KS National Historic Site visit 7-26-2012

Feel free to use the photos in this pdf...


The Impact Of

Author: Rachel M. Slone
This lesson is designed to address and challenge commonly held understandings or interpretations of the genre of music known as hip hop/rap. Students will examine the political, economic, social, cultural and global impacts of the music genre. Students will look at the emergence of the hip hop movement, and to responses to the music and culture. Students will analyze the importance of culture changes, as they examine a variety of sources.

Grade Level: 12
Lesson Length: Two Weeks
*I will be utilizing this lesson with my seniors after AP Exams.
Subject Areas:
American History, Music History, African American History, Contemporary History
Core Curriculum Standards:
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
a. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization =that logically sequences the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant data and evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both claim(s) and counterclaims in a discipline-appropriate form that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases.
c. Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
d. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from or supports the argument resented.

Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.

Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole

Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge
level, concerns, values, and possible biases.

Essential Question & Objectives

Given the demonstrated importance of hip hop and rap music and its corresponding culture and impact….
Has the genre changed culture in America forever? If so, how? If not, why? Assess its impact.

• Examine the genre as a tradition of blacks in America, with a focus on expression.
• Understand the key developments and events in the history of hip hop, rap and the surrounding cultures.
• Identify the four main elements of hip hop.
• Discriminate hip hop or rap music styles from other genres of music since the 1970s.
• Compare the impact of various artists from the genre and contrast their styles and overall influence.
• Identify elements of hip hop, rap and the surrounding culture.
• Evaluate the growth of hip hop since its origins, and the growth around the country, then assess its global importance.
• Analyze the role of hip hop and rap in society by examining lyrics and other elements of the genre.
• Examine issues such as: gender discrimination, misogyny, censorship, race, public interest/disinterest, protest, geographic impacts, sexism, obscenity and political impact.
• Understand the emergence of hip hop/rap into culture and investigate the divergent responses to the genre.
• Examine the socio-ecnomic connetions between hip hop and communities.
• Explore the connection between the genre of hip hop/rap and other elements of the culture.


Consider the origin of hip hop… how does it relate to traditions of black Americans?
Under what conditions was hip hop created and under what conditions did it thrive?
Is the popular image of hip hop different from the “reality”? Why?
Examine the unifying and dividing factors of hip hop – is it a divider or unifier?
What messages are conveyed through the genre? Are the messages diverse? If so, why? If not, why not?
What is the “hip hop culture”? Does the phrase mean different things to different people?
What is hip-hop? What is rap? Are they different?
What historically “caused” hip-hop start?
What are common stereotypes about hip-hop?
Does the media play a role in portraying hip hop?

Key Vocabulary

1, 2 Step
A!ka Baambaataa & The Zulu Nation
Beastie Boys
Big Daddy
Biz Markie
Blood/Crip Walk
Break Beat DJ’ing
Busy Bee
Chicken Noodle Soup
Christopher Wallace, “Biggie”
Clown Walk
Crazy Legs
De La Soul
DJ Kool Herc,
Dougie Fresh
Eric B & Rakim
Fab 5 freddy
Flash & The Furious Five
Harlem Shake
Heel Toe
Hoola Hoop
Jazzy Je$ and The Fresh Prince (Will Smith)
Kid Frost
Kool Moe Dee
Kurtis Blow
Last Poets
Lee Quinines
LL Cool J
MC Shan
Mr. Wiggles
Pop n Lock
Public Enemy
Rock Steady Crew
Run D.M.C,
Shoulda Lean
Slick Rick,
Snap Dancing
SugarHill Gang,
The Fat Boys
The Hurculoids
Tone Wop
Tribe Called Quest
Tupac Shakur

Historical Background

The hip hop and rap music genre is traditionally traced back to 1970s. However, its real roots extend far beyond this time period. The swiftly developing genre and then culture formed locally in larger cities, but spread swiftly in the 1980s and 1990s, finally reaching global popularity in recent history.
The genre has grown beyond its musical importance and the term “hip hop” now refers to more than just music – more, a culture… one that is an economic powerhouse to be reckoned with. The commercial aspects are a story that is yet to be completely told…and the market for hip hop products and the “lifestyle” will continue to contribute to the story. Not just movies, but music, fashion, music production, …. All of these influence by Hip hop and rap certainly will go down as a true legacy.
This lesson examines the roots of hip hop and rap music, and then allows students to take a closer, look at the aspects of this musical traditional. Finally, students examine the roots in urban areas and how it has been used to exasperations and experiences of the oppressed and the geographic impact amongst the varying races and ethnic backgrounds.

Further Reading & Resources

Can't Stop Won't Stop
Jeff Chang, D.J. Kool Herc

India After Gandhi
Ramachandra Guha

The History of Rap Music
Cookie Lommel

The History of Rap and Hip-Hop
Soren Baker

The Hip Hop Years
Alex Ogg, David Upshal

Yes Yes Y'All
Jim Fricke, Charlie Ahearn, Experience Music Project

Say it loud!
K. Maurice Jones

Hip Hop
Neil Kulkarni

The Stout-Hearted Seven
Neta Lohnes Frazier

Somebody Scream!
Marcus Reeves

Hip-Hop U.S. History
Blake Harrison, Alexander Rappaport

Hip Hop America
Nelson George

Hip Hop Resources: Articles, Readings
A Light: The Vibe History of Hip-Hop
A Rose: Never Trust A Big Butt And A Smile
A. Keyes: Stand and Deliver: Political Activism, Leadership, and Hip Hop Culture
B. Kitwana: The Hip-hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture & Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabes, and the New Reality of Race in America
B. Yousman: Blackophilia and Blackophobia: White Youth, the Consumption of Rap Music, and White Supremacy
C. Castleman: The Politics of Graffiti
D. Baldwin: Black Empires, White Desires
D. Basu & S. J. Lemelle: The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture
D. Iwamoto: Tupac Shakur…
D. Remnick: King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero.
D. Toop: The Rap Attack: African Jive to New York Hip-Hop
E. Quinn Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap
J. Kugelberg, Editor: Born in the Bronx: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop
F. Miyakawa: Flow, Layering, Rupture, and Groove
G Ramsey, Jr.: Scoring a Black Nation
G. Pough D., Neal, M. A., & Morgan, J: Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip-Hop Feminism Anthology
G. Tate: Everything But the Burden: What White People are Taking from Black Culture
I. Perry: Hip Hop’s Mama
J. Caines: It’s All about the Benjamins: The Marriage between Hip Hop, Adolescence, and Consumerism,The Hip-Hop Education Guidebook Volume 1
J. Change: Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-hop Generation
J. Davis: Review, When We Were Kings
J. Flores: Puerto Rocks
J. Fricke, C. Ahearn, et al.: Yes Yes Y’all: The Experience Music Project Oral History of Hip-Hop’s First Decade
J. Morgan: When the Chickenheads Come Home to Roost.
J. Spady G., H. Samy Alim and Samir Meghelli: Tha Global Cipha: Hip-hop Culture and Consciousness
Jay-Z: Hip Hop Decoded
K. Gaunt: The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop
L. Bell, Barbara J. Love, and Rosemarie A. Roberts: Racism and White Privilege Curriculum Design, Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice
M Davis, M: City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles
M. Forman & Mark Anthony Neal: That’s The Joint, Hip Hop Studies Reader
M. Forman: Represent
M.E. Dyson: Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur & Hip Hop Culture and the Legacy of Tupac Shakur. Audio Lecture, 10 April 2004
N. George: Hip Hop America
N. Hopkinson & N. Moore: Deconstructing Tyrone: A Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation
N. Kelley, N: The Political Economy of Black Music. Black Renaissance
N. Moody: Criticism Grows Over Rap’s Negative Influence
P.H. Collins: From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism.
R. Arnold, Bev Burke, Carl James, D’arcy Martin, and Barb Thomas: Educating for a Change
R. Caro: The City-Shaper, The New Yorker
R. Kelley: Looking For The ‘Real’ Ni**a
R. Kelly: Hip Hop Chicano: A Separate but Parallel Story
R. Kennedy: Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word
R. Mook: Civil Disobedience
R. Raimist et al.: Nobody Knows My Name
S Jhally Katz, J. et al: Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity
S. Ayazi-Hashjin: Rap & Hip Hop: The Voice of a Generation
S. Banes: Breaking
S. Bennett: Hip-Hop am Main, Rappin’ on the Tyne
S. Rodman: Breaking Down Hip-Hop, The Boston Globe. 17 February 2007.
S.C. Watkins: Hip Hop Matters
T Rose: The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip-Hop & What It Matters
T. Boyd: The New H.N.I.C.: The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop & Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self
T. Gore: Hate, Rape and Rap, The Washington Post. 8 January 1990
T. Mitchell: Global Noise: Rap and Hip-Hop Outside the USA. Middletown
T. Schumacher: This Is A Sampling Sport
T. Shakur: The Rose that Grew from Concrete
T.C. Williams: Losing My Cool: How a Father's Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture
Y. Bynoe: Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip-Hop Culture

Resources: Videos/TV/Music Clips
Selected Music Video Clips – Internet/YouTube
Video Excerpts from TV/Film –
8 Mile
Hip Hop: A Culture of Influence
Masters of Turntablism (Kool Herc, Grandwizzard Theodore, GrandMixer DST, Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, The X-Ecutioners, Mix Master Mike, Q-Bert, Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow)
Yo!: The Story Of Yo! MTV Raps
Tupac Takeover
Bastards of the Party
One Night in Vegas: ESPN Films 30 for 30
Hip Hop: Art or Poison
And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop
The N Word: Divided We Stand
Letter to the President
Just For Kicks
Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhyme
The Freshest Kids
Resources: Media
The Rap Attack by William Eric Perkins
B Banter: Hip Hop Mathematics: A Lesson for Teachers,
W Day: Artist Still Don’t Make Money From Record Deals,’t%20Make%20Loot.htm
Film: Forbes, S. (2010, Sep 22). “Jay-Z, Buffett and Forbes on Success and Giving Back” Available from:

Selected Music Tracks

2 Live Crew, “Me So Horny”
4th25, “Live From Iraq”
Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force, “Planet Rock”
Anglo Saxon – “This Old House”
Beastie Boys, “Fight For Your Right”
Biz Markie, “Just A Friend”
Brand Nubian, “All for One”
Chic, “Good Times”
Dizzee Rascal, “Hold Ya Mouf”
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, “Summertime”
Dr Dre. Featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg, “Let Me Ride”, “F**k Wit Dre Day” & “Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat”, “Nothin’ But A G Thang”
Dr. Dre, “The Day The Ni**az Took Over”
Eazy E, “Boyz-N-The Hood”
Fat Boys, “Jailhouse Rap”
Funky Four Plus One More, “Rappin’ and Rocking the House”
Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel, “White Lines”
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, “The Message”
Grandmaster Flash, “Flash Got More Bounce”
Ice Cube featuring Yo Yo, “It’s A Man’s World”, “The Ni**a Ya Love To Hate”
Ice T, “6 ‘n The Morning”
James Brown, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”
Kid Frost, “La Raza”
Kool Moe Dee, “Go See The Doctor”
Kraftwerk, “Trans Europe Express”
Kurtis Blow, “The Breaks”
LL Cool J, “I Need Love” & “Mama Said Knock You Out”
N.W.A., “F**k The Police” & “Gangsta Gangsta”
Notorious B.I.G., “Gettin’ Money”
Parliament, “Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)”
Public Enemy, “Night of the Living Baseheads”
Queen Latifah, “The Evil That Men Do”
Roxanne Shante, “Roxanne’s Revenge”
Rudy Rae Moore, “Signifying Monkey”
Run DMC and Aerosmith, “Walk This Way”, “It’s Like That”, “My Adidas”, “Rock Box”
Salieu Suso, “Kuruntu Kallafa”
Salt-n-Pepa, “Tramp”
Schoolly D., “P.S.K. What Does It Mean?”
Sex Pistols, “Anarchy in the UK”
Sir Mix A Lot, “Back Got Back”
Sugar Hill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight”
The Fatback Band, “King Tim III”
The Last Poets, “Just Because”
The Sequence and Spoonie Gee, “Monster Jam”
The Sequence, “Funk You Up”
UTFO, “Roxanne, Roxanne”
Vanilla Ice, “Ice Ice Baby”
Whodini, “Five Minutes of Funk”
Young MC, “Bust A Move”

Preview Activity: Free Writing
Students prepare a one-two page free write, responding to one of the following quotes:

A certain administration which I won't call by name took the arts out of the schools, and that left the brothers out on the street with nothing, so they went to the turntables and started rhyming. Then they had a way to express themselves, and that's the birth of hip-hop.
Isaac Hayes

Being No. 1. It's talked about all of the time in hip-hop. 'I'm still No. 1! I'm the best! I'm the greatest of all time!' It's the same mentality in sports.
Michael Rapaport

But I think the image that's thrown out on television is a bad image. Because you see players who want to imitate hip-hop stars. And the NBA is taking advantage of the situation.
Oscar Robertson

But it all came, and for me, hip-hop has done more for racial divide and racial sort of bringing together than anything in the last 30 years. Seeing people like Eminem sounding like somebody like Jay-Z and just the racial aspects of it all.
Michael Rapaport
Dancehall is just like hip-hop in that it doesn't always talk about bling; it talks about conscious issues.
Sean Paul

Hip-hop can be limiting and I refuse to accept limits.
LL Cool J

Hip-hop don't have no fresh energy, none at all. It's money driven, everybody tryin' to make that cheque, nobody putting art in their albums any more.
Andre Benjamin

Hip-hop has done so much for racial relations, and I don't think it's given the proper credit. It has changed America immensely. I'm going to make a very bold statement: Hip-hop has done more than any leader, politician, or anyone to improve race relations.

Hip-hop is a vehicle.
Talib Kweli

Hip-hop is definitely not what it used to be, which was creative, original music.
Missy Elliot

Hip-hop is more about attaining wealth. People respect success. They respect big. They don't even have to like your music. If you're big enough, people are drawn to you.

Hip-hop is still cool at a party. But to me, hip-hop has never been strictly a party; it is also there to elevate consciousness.
Saul Williams

Rap is a gimmick, but I’m for the hip-hop, the culture.
Method Man (Wu-Tang)

The thing about hip-hop is that it’s from the underground, ideas from the underbelly, from people who have mostly been locked out, who have not been recognized

Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Recordings

Hip-hop is supposed to uplift and create, to educate people on a larger level and to make a change.
Doug E. Fresh

Hip-hop is too young to put a definition on it.
Saul Williams

Hip-Hop isn't just music, it is also a spiritual movement of the blacks! You can't just call Hip-Hop a trend!
Lauryn Hill

Hip-hop reflects the truth, and the problem is that hip-hop exposes a lot of the negative truth that society tries to conceal. It's a platform where we could offer information, but it's also an escape.
Busta Rhymes

Activities: Previewing Content
Reading: Preserving the Birth Place of Hip Hop 1520 Sedgwick Tower, David Gest


Reading Questions:

1. What population shifts does the author describe in the early to mid-1900s?
2. Describe the contributions of Clive Campbell.
3. Discuss the role of hip hop in the “capitalist” culture as described by Gest

Activating Activity: What Is “Hip Hop”
In groups, have students write “Hip Hop” in the center of a large piece of paper. Tell groups to write approx. 10 terms or phrases that they associate with hip hop and rap. Students will then share what their groups came up with and the class will create their definition of hip hop.
Activities: Lecture Suggestions

Emergence of Hip Hop:
Afro-Diasporic Roots, Lovebug/Starski, Disco History, Zulu Nation, Breakdancing, Impact of Gangs and Activists, Sugarhill Gang, The Charts – Gold/Mainstream, Run DMC/Russell Simmons, The Bronx, Afrika Bambaataa, DJs and “Mixing”, DJ Kool Herc, “The Father of Hip Hop”, Grandmaster Flash, Hearing Musical Style, Rupture and Flow

Building A Genre & The Importance of MTV:
Def Jam, Flava Flav/Public Enemy, Dougie Fresh, Magic Marley Mar, LL Cool J
The Impact of the Project, Beastie Boys, Salt N Pepa

New Voices: Philly’s Jazzy Je$ and the Fresh Prince, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Dj Yella, and MC Ren, Debut of MC Hammer, Invention of the Parental Advisory (Ice-T), Queen Latifah and Wendy Clark and Women of Hip Hop, Radio and Hip Hop Only Stations

Straight Outta Compton: The Emegence of the West Coast
Run D.M.C. as a Producer, FBI Warns About NWA, Grammys: The Contraversy, Pro-Feminism in Rap? Adventures of Slick Rick, The Breakup: NWA and Ice Cube, Tommy Boy Records

Hip Hop, Gangstas and Politics, The Abyss of the 1990s: East and West Coast Violence, Negative Press and Tipper Gore, New Styles and Artists, Authenticity, Government Censorship?, Media Bias and Portrayal

Rap Since its “Downfall”: Emergence of Gangsta Rap, Selling Out to “Real Hip Hop”
Hip Hop and Inner City Expressionism
Hip Hop: Commercializing and Capitalism
Misogny in Hip Hop
Four Elements: DJing, Breakdancing, Graffiti, MCing
Raps Roots in Jamaica

Activities: Internet Research
Students will examine the Cornell University Hip Hop Collection and write a list of questions about each of the collections examined.
Courtesy of Cornell University Hip Hop Collection

The “Born in the Bronx” collection of vinyl recordings, documenting the earliest phase of rap music’s recorded history ca. 1979-1985.

The Joe Conzo, Jr. Archive. Cornell serves as the archive for the work of Joe Conzo, one of hip hop’s earliest photographers. The hip hop collection preserves hundreds of Conzo’s photographs taken in the Bronx in the 1970s and 1980s, including extensive documentation of performances by the important early hip hop group the Cold Crush Brothers.

The Buddy Esquire Archive. This collection preserves the original working files and art of Buddy Esquire, the “flyer king” of hip hop, through hundreds of original pieces.

Breakbeat Lenny Archive. The Breakbeat Lenny Archive consists of sound recordings and printed material from the early days of hip hop. The bulk of the collection spans the years 1979-1982. It was assembled by Lenny Roberts, better known as Breakbeat Lenny, a DJ who assembled the seminal compilation series “Ultimate Breaks and Beats” throughout the 1980s. The core of the collection is a series of rare soundboard recordings of live performances, 127 hip hop party fliers, and a selection of publications relating to record collecting and DJing, which informed Breakbeat Lenny’s assembly of the breakbeats that guided the growth of hip hop throughout the 1980s.

The Geoffrey Weiss Collection. More than 6,000 vinyl and CD hip hop recordings ca. 1980-2005, (most concentrating on the 1988-2001 period) including original press packets and photographs issued by record labels and artist representatives.

Activity: Peace in Hip Hop?
Read the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace (
The Declaration was presented to the United Nations organization in 2001.
1. Choose a short excerpt you find interesting, provoking or even a section you may not agree with…and explain why you chose it. Create a brochure about the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace, designed to encourage younger artists and listeners to read it.
2. Prepare a list of interview questions you would ask the writers and designers of this document.
Activity: Visuals & Videos
Watch a variety of clips (see “Resources”) and have students write reflections using some of the following questions:
1. What does this show us about hip hop culture?
2. What does this clip show us about the perception of hip hop/rap?
3. How does the depiction of hip hop culture change when researched from various points of view?
4. How does hip hop serve as a voice of the people?
5. What impact or influence did immigrants have on the origin of hip hop?
6. How did hip hop serve as a cultural exchange connecting people through various art forms? What role did urban plight / decay in the late 70's play in the developing of this genre of music?
7. How does the history of hip hop reveal its ability to be resilient and transcend all obstacles?

Suggested Clips:
Afrika Bambaataa Planet Rock:
Temple of Hip-Hop:

Activity: Lyrical Interpretation
Looking for meaning within some messages can be confusing or the individual interpretations diverse. See “Resources” for a list of commonly known hip hop songs (songs from the advent of the genre until present day). For a short, in class discussion activity, prepare copies of lyrics for students to write on, and place a copy on the board, overheard, Smart Board, etc.
The song (depending on a variety of factors – appropriateness, duration, etc.) should be played as students use their lyric handouts to jot down thoughts as the song plays. Have students share their thoughts about the lyrics and what they believe the song’s meaning was. Have students include historical context in their discussion. Perhaps use the example of oral tradition in Africa to introduce the lesson, depending on the subject area.
Activity: Short History of Hip Hop
VH1 Hip Hop Honors has an excellent interactive time line to reference a chronological story of Hip Hop. The link is:
Students should have access to a computer (1 or 2) and they should spend some time using and reviewing the timeline. Students will then be asked to choose an event (specificity assigned by the teacher) and research the event for one class period. Students will then create a large timeline (large roll of paper/butch paper) and each contribute an artistic illustration and short summary of their event and place it in the appropriate place on the larger timeline.
Activity: Socratic Seminar or Panel Discussion
Topic Suggestions:
Hip Hop is a “fad”.
Rap and Hip Hop destroy society and weaken morals and values.
Hip Hop is a positive economic force in urban society.
Images in hip hop videos has caused a rise in crime.
Lyrics in hip hop are purely artistic, no one really thinks that is reality.
Hip hop artists should absolutely create ONLY “socially responsible” work.
Hip hop portrays African Americans as “gangstas”
Activity: Current Events & Hip Hop
Students should conduct an internet search (or use newspapers) and locate a recent article about hip-hop. Students will do a “Current Event Report” with a simple “Summary” and “Reflection” and discuss how hip hop is portrayed in the article. You may choose to have students post current events and comments to a discussion board.

Activity: Critiques and Controversy
Use selected television (YouTube clips, etc.) and find several examples of both criticisms of hip hop/rap music and also from those who defend the genre against criticism. You could use a few of the examples listed in the Lesson Plan’s resources. Exposure to as many examples (both articles and clips) is suggested.
One of the most famous is Tipper Gore’s editorial in the Washington Post. Oprah Winfrey is another example. One YouTube video “How Women Are Portrayed in Hip Hop Videos: Insiders Examine Hip-Hop and African American Women”. Or John McWhorter’s, “How Hip-Hop Holds Blacks Back”, Sarah Rodman’s “Breaking Down Hip Hop”
Activities: Collaborative Project
Each group (2-3) will be assigned one of the following Lesson Objectives:
• Examine the genre as a tradition of blacks in America, with a focus on expression.
• Understand the key developments and events in the history of hip hop, rap and the surrounding cultures.
• Discriminate hip hop or rap music styles from other genres of music since the 1970s.
• Compare the impact of various artists from the genre and contrast their styles and overall influence.
• Identify elements of hip hop, rap and the surrounding culture.
• Evaluate the growth of hip hop since its origins, and the growth around the country, then assess its global importance.
• Analyze the role of hip hop and rap in society by examining lyrics and other elements of the genre.
• Examine issues such as: gender discrimination, misogyny, censorship, race, public interest/disinterest, protest, geographic impacts, sexism, obscenity and political impact.
• Understand the emergence of hip hop/rap into culture and investigate the divergent responses to the genre.
• Explore the connection between the genre of hip hop/rap and other elements of the culture.

Each group must find 5 documents (one photo, one speech, one graph/chart, song lyrics and one document of their choice) relating to the assigned objective. Students will display these documents in a PowerPoint presentation. The instructor will then display all of the documents during a final group discussion where we will discuss the objectives of the course and attempt to offer analysis to the issues and topics.

Activities: Final Writing Assignment
Have students write a final essay.
Teachers will need to include a rubric, depending on the course and rigor.
Possible Essay Topics
Support or refute: “Hip hop culture is just another name for black ghetto culture.”
What was crack’s effect on gangsta rap, and, more broadly, what effects have illegal drugs like crack had on hip hop culture?
Controversial Rap Themes & Gender Issues
A Analysis of Rap Music Videos and Content of Issues since the 1980s.
Activities: Wrap Up/Closure
In a short writing, discuss the future of hip hop/rap music. Design (develop narrative and illustrations) for a short book (perhaps aimed at children) about the history of hip hop music.

Emmett Till's Mother's telegram to the President: image.

FBI Publication regarding the alleged connections between the Communist Party and the Civil Rights Movement.

I put the scans/photos of the images in a ppt for your use.

We had a great emotional dialogic session that was probably evoked by the exhibits and facilitated by Mr. Alexander during the visit to Brown v. Board of Education. This is exactly the sort of thing that I like to do with my school groups that visit our site. There are so many injustices, discrimination and heart felt feelings that are brought about by the exhibits that I don't want the students to leave sad, upset,mad or angry. Which are all understandable emotions but rather I want them to feel pride from the actions and courage that was shown by these people in the past, to understand and recognize discrimination, stereotyping and racism today. I believe that this has to happen through dialogue as with our session. This is a great way to have the students express their feelings and share their thoughts. Finally to empower them when they leave to pass on one good thing, to make one change, to make a difference in some way. This is a bit of a challenge and I'm still working on it. My hat goes off to all of you who shared your thoughts and feelings and Mr. Alexander for having the courage and expertise to facilitate it.

I have the “luxury” of not having to teach Government or American History or the Civil Rights Movement this year. So my top objectives for this week were to a) increase my knowledge on the subject and b) stockpile as many document and websites for when I’ll need them—maybe next year, maybe the year after. That was easy. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Coincidental to these goals were, of course, to learn more about what went on in those 80 years between the Emancipation Proclamation and Brown. I mean, I knew a little (but not much) and certainly didn’t have any idea of how those few events related to each other. Well, this week has given me a LOT more dots of knowledge than I ever had. And more important, I’ve know a lot more about how people and events and movements and organizations were related in those years. And it’s quite a tapestry. (And geez, I know that what we’ve covered this week has only skimmed the surface!)
But while I’m not teaching Social Studies this year, I am a 6th grade reading teacher, and one of the elements we’re adding to our curriculum is a mandatory weekly nonfiction article to teach the kiddies reading skills and let them practice reading strategies. A lot of these articles will come from newspapers and current issues of Scholastic and its ilk, but I have a h-u-g-e suspicion that they will be reading several Civil Rights articles this year. So while I technically will not be teaching Civil Rights, the kiddies will be reading about it anyway. It’s what I like to call “collateral learning.”
Lastly, I’m going to share anything and everything I received this week with the middle school and high school history teachers. They’re always looking for resources. Hopefully I’ll be able to persuade them to make our schools Gilder Lehrman affiliates.

Series 2515 : Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission Records Online, 1994-2006, Folders All Items

Thank you to Gilder Lehrman, to Drs. Alexander and Woestman, and all of the other contributors to this week, including the other participants. This has been very helpful for me to learn more about a period of history that I previously knew about in a very cursory way. I look forward to going through all of the material that the seminar participants have posted and figuring out how best to help ELL students understand this and other topics. I am glad that we will have access to this site as I need a lot of time to process all of this valuable information.

To visit the Brown National Historic Site provided an opportunity to visit history. To say the least, the visit was emotionally wrenching and thought provoking. We often say every student should experience "this"; however, this is one opportunity all students should avail themselves.

Most of you are younger than me

Therefore I am thinking that many of you have never seen clips of a CBS special put on over a bunch of nights in 1968 called "Black History: Lost Stolen or Strayed"

It was hosted by Bill Cosby and was watched by a lot of people. For many it was their first exposure to Black History beyond slavery. On part I always use is a part where they have a psychologist analyze picture drawn by White and Black children. It substitutes for Kenneth Clark's contribution to the Brown case. My students have always gotten into it either in History or Psych

Coming here to a Gilder Lehrman seminar, I was excited about not only what I would learn, but who I would get the change to interact with here at the University of Kansas. I have the great opportunity to work with teachers every day at my job with the National Park Service, but was inspired, motivated and challenged by this group here. I will leave here with the ability now to take events surrounding the LRCHS crisis and put them into a deeper context and use the styles and methods of my new friends here from our seminar. I can imagine a flowchart of history that shows our visitors or the students I will work with in the future the way in which we arrive at 1500 S. Park Street on September 4, 1957. To see the heroic struggle of the Little Rock Nine without the context of Truman’s efforts in the previous decade, DDE’s work with the lower/higher courts and the road leading to and from Brown would only educate someone singularly and forego the deeper moments of this movement. Shawn and Clarence gave us the meaning and methodology of so many vital figures, moments and results leading to this moment in our collective history. To be in this place with these people; to have this chance to see, hear, and experience; to have the resources and the renewed ability to change the way in which we comprehend history – this is what will carry with me once home and every day in which I have the opportunity to be in a place where agents of change once walked. I will use the things I take from this placer to foster civic dialogue, both in a historical and a contemporary context, and introduce our audience to multiple ways in which to learn. By offering various methods to learn, I will have the greater capacity to effect and inspire other minds as the NPS works to continually preserve, protect and present our cultural resources to future generations.

When I reflect back on this week, the item that I would include in my teaching practice with more detail is Truman and Eisenhower's actions/reactions to the need to address segregation in American society. What was made clear was that these were not simple decisions, but rather were colored by the times- The Cold War, the brutality returning African-American soldiers were facing, political motivations, and personal conviction. I want my students to understand that the Presidents had been placed in the intersection, as Professor Yohuru Williams says, and had to decide which direction they would move. Their decisions on which way to move, because of their position, would bring the whole nation along- some willingly and some unwillingly.

I have additional material tons of it that I will share with the group once I locate my flash drives.
youtube Emmett Till Parts 1-17
http://www.usmedu/crop/html/evers2.htm Emmett Till Niagara Movement Niagara Movement
Dwight D. Eisenhoer Presidential Librart
Box 54 PLetter from Walter White to Pres. Eisenhower
Box 4 Press Conference Civil Rightd & Powell Amendment
Box 6 The Racial Issue Pamhlet

I arrived in Lawrence, Kansas, with several goals: gain a greater understanding of this important era in U.S. History, learn from the experts, network with colleagues, acquire additional primary resources and strategies............all while being in the place where much of this history took place. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Thanks to Drs. Alexander and Woestman for their obvious, hard work and preparation for this seminar. Lastly, thanks to the Gilder Lehrman Institute for making it possible.

The field trip to Topeka to visit the Brown vs. Board of Education site again demonstrated to me the ordinary, everyday places in the world that make history. Students will often think that the White House, the Supreme Court and the Capitol building are the places in this nation where everything happens (or does not happen depending on the period in time). This National Park, in the middle of the city of Topeka, belies this notion.
I have been told by a colleague at my school that this was a good place to visit, and I agree. The displays and the films gave a good context to the movement.
The discussion that we had in the classroom toward the end of the day raised a lot of emotions among participants. I always need time to reflect about what is discussed before responding. A lot of the topics brought up reminded me of sessions during graduate school 19 years ago, which distressed me somewhat. Although it is positive that people are still talking, it is unfortunate that problems mentioned in the early 1990s still plague the school systems, the country and the culture.
Ideally, the teaching force would better reflect the population of the country, but as several participants mentioned, the qualifications of the teachers are more important than the racial balancing of a staff. There are times that a student may need to speak to a man or a woman, or a person of a particular background, in order to feel more comfortable, but this is not always possible. As James said, it is vital for teachers to get to know the students before them and as Tracy said, to use whatever time we have with our students to push them as much as we can. Students of any background know when we do not have particularly high expectations, and generally resent us when we do not expect enough.
The desegregation issue remains problematic, as it appears that many of this nation's districts are becoming more segregated again. And unlike in the mid 1950s, during which time the focus was almost exclusively on black and white, there are large masses of students, particularly Asians and Hispanics,whose needs must also be met by schools in their communities. Tensions between and among groups will continue to shift the dynamic as we move forward, and depending on where each of us teaches, the tensions will reflect the demographics of our communities. In recent times, my school district has had problems between students born in Africa or the Caribbean and African-Americans. There have also been issues between Hispanics and Asians, and whites and Hispanics. When there is no one group that constitutes more than 50% of a student body, it is less likely that any one can completely dominate all elements (academic, athletic, extra-curricular) of school life. I suppose that this is one positive result of integration.

This was my first visit to an archive. The volume of resources available for viewing was overwhelming. It was exciting to view and touch actual documents composed by various contributors to history. For example, the grief and indignation of Mrs. Mamie Bradley, mother of Emmett Till, results in a telegraph message to the President Then, in the same folder was J. Edgar Hoover's FBI letter to the President urging the President not to intervene in the Till investigation. This information is seldom, if ever, published within the average American History textbook. These documents will be excellent resources to juxtapose opposing perspectives with students. These resources would not have been available at any other facility other than the Eisenhower Library. This particular seminar would not be as enriching nor rewarding if the location was not in the University of Kansas area.

Thank you to Dr. Kelly Woestman, Dr. Shawn Leigh Alexander, and all the scholars and presenters for providing us with a stimulating, challenging, and inspiring Gilder Lehrman seminar at the University of Kansas.

Being in the places of history and memory encourages me to keep learning and exploring, to grow and accompany my students in their study of History...

"The more you know, the more you know you don't know".
I go to these programs because I know enough about something to want to learn more. You can do this through reading and course work, but to be guided through the experience by either recognized experts in the field or people actually involved in the events that transpired is just an incredible opportunity. To be able to do that at the actual site of the events is absolutely priceless.
The single best thing I will bring back to my classes was a better appreciation for the 5 distinctly different cases collectively known as Brown. It will reinforce my effort to make students confront the idea that there are often multiple narratives in regard to the history usually written according to the master narrative in their textbooks.
A second insight I'll take back to my classes is a greater appreciation of the cost and unintended consequences involved in what is generally thought to be a giant step forward in making America the nation we would like to be. While we often speak of the physical and financial cost to the people challenging the status quo in this case. I, for one, didn't really think this through to the point of realizing the cost in term of lost jobs for a considerable number of black teachers and also the loss of a certain number of high quality black schools that were a source of pride to many in various black communities.

Excellent visual piece that explores prejudice on "all fronts." Students respond positively to the experience. Bill Cosby on "Prejudice."

I believe the most important thing I will take away from this seminar is the understanding that, even though we have come a long way with race relations in our country, there is still a long way to go. Living in a small rural town in the state of Kansas with a very small minority population, I do not see the race problem that my fellow educators do in the large metropolitan areas of our country. I feel that the past week has made me a better teacher, but more importantly, I feel it has made me a better person.

Thank you to Dr. Kelly Woestman, Dr. Shawn Leigh Alexander and Gilder Lehrman for a great week of learning.

I am walking away from this seminar with a collection of images, impressions, documents and ideas that will make my classroom a richer learning experience for my students. I can give them what has been given to me this week as an educator. I have experienced "authentic" learning at it's very best. I was here where it happened...I saw, researched, discussed, and shared with fellow educators a period of profound history. These are the numerous treasures that are now a part of my teaching.

I came into this week with a pretty good understanding of the African American Civil Rights Movement, & came away from this seminar understanding that what I knew only covered the surface. I appreciate Gilder-Lherman gave me th opportunity to get a more detailed background in the Civil Rights movement. I learned how important the NAACP was in furthering Civil Rights. I learned that they had a proven strategy, of direct action backed by legal action, stuck to that strategy & helped to bring about significant change in American society. I received significant documents & information that I can carry back to my school, which I plan to share with my colleagues, on the impact of the civil rights movement.I primarily teach using powerpoint presentations, of which I have a what I thought was a decent presentation on the civil rights movement. That presentation will be enhanced by not only additional information, but with the use of documents to back up the additional information. I intend to use some of the documents, as well as some of the texts in preparing a DBQ Essay for my AP US History classes. I also plan on using some of the documents as reading and analyzing lessons with my regular history classes. I also plan on extending the information that I have obtained to include lessons on the Civil rights under Presidents Kennedy & Johnson.


Civil Rights Acts and the Three Branches of Government

Currently, I'm sketching out a plan to ask students to examine the three branches of government by looking at the passage and constitutionality of three civil rights acts. They will be able to use extensive primary source documentation to delve into how and why decisions are made. We can spend an extensive amount of time on the topic because they will be learning about so many different parts of the government - legislation, president's role, Speaker of the House, filibuster, judicial review, etc. I'm afraid I don't have much more than that right now, but if anyone is interested, I'd be happy to share the unit when I get it ready.

Sitting in a Monroe School classroom, as Drs. Lang and Alexander provided the background and insight to the Brown case, was amazing. They both engage and challenge the learner.

The opportunity to visit the Eisenhower Library allowed teachers the unique opportunity to explore primary documents from the Eisenhower Administration and find new and creative ways to implement them within a classroom setting. By collaborating with a group of distinguished educators, I was able to better utilize these documents.

Excellent essay on public education and how it is essential to democratic values and keeping our country strong.

Thanks to John and Shirley for sharing their research about the struggle and changes to urban education. It was very insightful with the changes before Brown and after Brown (1940-1980). I have often wondered why the urban schools are such a challenge but to hear that they actually were top notch schools in the 1940's and 1950's was surprising! I would be interested in using some visual graphs and data for students to compare and contrast these changes.

If you have never used it (or even if you had!) the Stanford History Education Group has an amazing website with resources and document based lessons for every era in US History.

The lessons and documents are challenging but have also been differentiated so that all learners can access. Definitely check them out at the link below.