Shoulders of the Ancestors

June 2014

The reason I appear to be standing so tall is because my feet are firmly planted on the shoulders of my ancestors


Through primary source images and with text students will learn about President Lincoln's initial reluctance to recruit African Americans, the contributions of runaway slaves, and how African Americans contributed to the Union's victory over the Confederacy.


Freedom Summer: 50 Years Ago

Useful Links on FREEDOM SUMMER 1964

A Time For Justice

In A TIME FOR JUSTICE, four-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Charles Guggenheim captured the spirit of the civil rights movement through historical footage and the voices of those who participated in the struggle.


Teachers can order this kit for free.


The Kit includes:

38-minute film with closed-captioning on DVD

Teacher’s Guide with five lesson plans on CD

Classroom Poster, “Civil Rights Movement Timeline,”

Narrated by Julian Bond and featuring John Lewis, the 38-minute film allows today’s generation of students to witness firsthand the movement’s most dramatic moments—the bus boycott in Montgomery, the school crisis in Little Rock, the violence in Birmingham and the triumphant 1965 march for voting rights.

Freedom Summer was a non-violent effort by civil rights activists to integrate Mississippi's segregated political system during 1964. The WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY provides a thorough overview of Freedom Summer with text, biographies, primary source documents, and photographs.


A dynamic LESSON PLAN on Freedom Summer can be uploaded from the New York State Social Studies Core Curriculum Guide for Grade 11.


Below MSNBC columnist Melissa Harris-Perry features clips from the Stanley Nelson documentary FREEDOM SUMMER which is being aired on PBS during the month of June.


What Is Black Music Month?


Black Music Month began in 1979 when Kenny Gamble, Ed Wright, and Dyana Williams developed the idea to set aside a month dedicated to celebrating the impact of black music. Created by music business insiders, the group successfully lobbied President Jimmy Carter to host a reception on June 7th, 1979 to formally recognize the cultural and financial contributions of black music. Since 1979, Black Music Month has grown from a commemoration to national proportions with extravaganza across the country.


In development and due to open in 2017 the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) will showcase over 50 music genres created or impacted by African Americans, honor the legacy and legends of this diverse music and detail the impact this music has on musicians and consumers around the world.



The SOUL-PATROL.COM website contains a database of over 500,000 entries on Classic Soul,  Jazz,  Funk,  Doo Wop, Southern Soul & Blues,  Slow Jams,  Nu Soul,  and  Rock N' Roll


The HIP-HOP & EDUCATION website from Ithaca College's School of Humanities and Sciences provides numerous links for learning about as well as teaching about hip-hop music and hip-hop culture.


Established in 1991, the Archives of African American Music and Culture (AAAMC) is a repository of materials covering a range of African American musical idioms and cultural expressions from the post-World War II era with genres ranging from blues and gospel to R&B and contemporary hip hop.  The AAAMC also houses extensive materials related to the documentation of black radio.




SHOULDERS OF THE ANCESTORS is a division of AFRICAN AMERICAN POSTERS & PRESENTATIONS (AAPP) . AAPP provides classroom tested educational posters and learning charts that utilize the new scholarship in African and African American history and culture. The graphics on our learning charts are selected to engage students. Visit us today at www.aahistoryposters.com.


This educational kit contains four full color posters and a CD with a Powerpoint presentation.