Musical Ways to Discover Heroes of African American History

Heroes of African American History Come to Life on Radio & DVD

Three ways to discover heroes of African American history!

Music is a terrific avenue for kids to discover African American heroes during Black History Month, with a couple of opportunities offered right here on Hilltown Families.

The Hilltown Family Variety Show Black History Month Episode showcased leading musicians who comprise an African American heritage this month, introducing listeners to many great musicians, including Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. Listen to the podcast here.

♦ Check out this DVD released by Scholastic Storybook Treasures, Duke Ellington …and more stories to celebrate great figures in African American history, a historic and musical collection of four stories adapted from best-selling picture books.  Stories featured include:

  • Duke Ellington (based on the story by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Bran Pinkney, narrated by Forest Whitaker). A most fitting tribute to a great man who proudly celebrated the history of African-Americans, from slavery to civil rights struggles.
  • Ellington Was Not a Street (based on the story by Ntozake Shange, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, narrated by Phylicia Rashad). A poetic tribute about growing up amidst many of the great figures in African American History.
  • Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of Vocal Virtuosa (based on the story Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney, narrated by Billy Dee Williams). The dramatic story of how Ella got her sound, on the way to a most remarkable and inspiring career.
  • John Henry (based on the story by Julius Lester, illustrated by Brian Pinkney, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson). Based on the famous African-American folk ballad, this story tells of the legendary contest between a spirited man with a hammer and a steam drill.

1 Comment

  1. Otha Day said,

    February 26, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    My name is Otha Day and I live in North Adams, Mass…. my song is “Yellow Rose of Texas”, both a great song and a tip of the hat to Black History Month – as it’s a song about a light-skinned Black woman and the man (some say Black, some say White) who vows that “if I ever find her, we never more shall part!”.. In any case, it gives a gentle shout out to all of us to “find” the ones we love and be with them.


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