TeachRock during Black History Month, part 2: Music as the Inspiration for Cross Cultural Conversations

Educators, enrich your Black History Month programs with lesson plans that use music as the entry point for discussions. Engage your students with rich multimedia materials that highlight the achievements of key artists including Chuck Berry, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Public Enemy, The Supremes, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Muddy Waters, The Who, The Beatles and more. Make connections between the lives and work of such individuals as Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young, and Rosa Parks and the music that inspired change.

The America at a Crossroads: Music as the Inspiration for Cross Cultural Conversations lesson collection encourages your students to consider music’s capacity to connect people across boundaries of ethnicity, gender and age. Let your students know what the music has done and what it can still do–and stay tuned for the third installment of our Black History Month collections, all of which are available free of charge at TeachRock.org.


Elvis and Race in 1950s America

How did Elvis Presley’s early career reflect race relations and racial tensions in mid-1950s America?

Sampling: The Foundation of Hip Hop

How is the re-use and re-purposing of existing music at the heart of the Hip Hop recording experience?

The Rise of the Electric Guitar as Rock and Roll’s Dominant Symbol

What factors led to the rise of the electric guitar as the dominant symbol of Rock and Roll?

Chuck Berry

Why is Chuck Berry often considered the most important of the early Rock and Rollers?

The American Blues in Britain

In what ways did American Blues affect English musicians in the early 1960s?

Assembling Hits at Motown

How did Motown Records in Detroit operate during the 1960s?

Aretha Franklin: Soul Music and the new Femininity of the 1960s

How did Aretha Franklin represent a new female voice in 1960s popular music?