Historical Background


Beginning and End of Unit Activities; Assessment Strategies

"The Corner"
Words and music by Common, 2005
A song about street corners in urban areas that contains profound observations of urban life

"[Silence] is a Weapon"
Blackfire, 2007
A hard rock song with traditional Navajo elements

"Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)"
Toby Keith, 2002
A patriotic song inspired by the September 11, 2001, attacks

"Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?"
Alan Jackson, 2002
A song that captures the myriad of emotions experienced in the wake of the Sept. 11th attacks

"Have You Forgotten?"
Wynn Varble and Darryl Worley, 2003
A pro-war call to action in the wake of the September 11th attacks

"Travelin' Soldier"
Bruce Robison, 1999
A song about the impact a soldier made before making the ultimate sacrifice

"Light Up Ya Lighter"
Michael Franti and Spearhead, 2006
A reggae-style anti-war song

Ozomatli, 2007
An anti-war song from the perspective of soldier dying on the battlefield

"War Song"
O.A.R., 2008
A song about the soldier's experience at the war front

"Words I Never Said"
Lupe Fiasco, also known as Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, 2011
A song about standing up for people and against goverment

"America First"
Merle Haggard, 2005
A plea for America to get out of Iraq and focus on its own country

"Rent Money"
Jonah Deocampo, also known as Bambu DePistola, 2012
A rap song about succeeding in hip hop without resorting to violence

Dumbfoundead, 2013
A fantasy about leaving Koreatown and returning a success

Angie Stone, 2001
A neo-soul tribute to African American men

"Learn Chinese"
Jin Au-Yeung, also known as Jin the Emcee, 2003
A rap song that attempted to elevate Chinese rappers by reinforcing stereotypes

"The APL Song"
Black Eyed Peas, 2004
A song about being a Philipine American

"Heroes of Earth"
Leehorn Wang, 2005
A C-pop song that fuses East and West, old and new musical traditions

"Black Happiness"
Yoon Mi-rae, also known as Natasha Shanta Reid, 2007
An autobiographical account of growing up in a bi-racial family

"Who I Am"
Ruby Ibarra, 2010
A lament about having to suppress Filipinno heritage while living in America

"Same Love"
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, 2012
The unofficial anthem of supporters for legalizing same sex marriage

"Mi Gente"
Kumbia Kings, 2003
A plea for social justice for migrant workers

"Good as Hell"
Lizzo and Eric Frederic (also known as Ricky Reed), 2016
A song about body positivity, self-care, and the Black Lives Matter movement

"I Know the End"
Phoebe Bridgers, 2020
An apocalyptical folk ballad

"Stay Home"
Big & Rich, 2020
A humorous song that rallies people to stay home during the Covid-19 pandemic

"3rd Base, Dodger Stadium"
Ry Cooder, 2005
A song about Chavez Ravine, which was demolished to make way for the Dodger Stadium

"Where You From?"
Jonah Deocampo, also known as Bambu DePistola, 2012
A former gang member encourages others to avoid violence and be proud of where they're from

"Monsters Calling Home"
Run River North, 2014
A song about being second generation Korean American with parents desperate to assimilate

"Descendants of Dragons"
Wang LeeHom, 2000
A song about the Chinese immigrant experience in America

Alejandro Escovedo, 2001
A song about the hopes versus the reality of immigration

"Somos mas americanos"
Los Tigres del Norte, 2001
A song about discrimination against Mexican immigrants living in the U.S.

"(Who Discovered) America?"
Ozomatli, 2004
A critique about the true identity of America

"American Land"
Bruce Springsteen, 2006
The story of the immigrant experience from hope before departure to the reality after arrival

"Electric Intertribal"
A Tribe Called Red, 2013
Dance music that uses movement as a vehicle for community building and empowering

Mitski Miyawaki, 2018
A song about how lonely it is in a country where nobody knows you

"Where Is the Love?"
Black Eyed Peas, 2003
A response to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq

"Waiting on the World to Change"
John Mayer, 2006
A lament about the singer's generation's ability to impact change

"I Smile"
Kirk Franklin, 2011
A reminder that God is working to help you no matter what you're going through

"No Rest for the Weary"
Blue Scholars, 2004
A reminder about how hard the Black community must work to overcome mistreatment and marginalization

Dumbfounded, 2010
A reminder that no matter how difficult life is things will be better

"Fight the Power"
Public Enemy, 1989 and 2020
A call for listeners to rebel against racial discrimination and economic inequality, even if it means turning to violence

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