THE MILLIONAIRE SONS OF A COTTON-PICKIN MEXICAN

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CHAPTER II.

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Jennifer Luther. Rachel Richardson. Paul Kenney. David Hickey. Lisa M. Megan Brown. Emotions of the Blues As we noted in the first lesson, people sometimes play the blues the music in order to get rid of the blues the feeling. TTW lead students in brainstorming a list of challenges facing current fourth grade students followed by ranking each in order of importance.

Students can be encouraged to add a melody to the created lyrics, as well as movement, dance, staging, costuming for extra effect. Because of this, it was easier for a man to pursue a career in music, which often involves extensive travel. Such stories are much less common among female blues artists, although many did start out at a young age. Instead, musicians often have to go where there is money to be made. This often means working late at night on the weekends, and also going out on the road. TSW demonstrate understanding of the roles of African American men and women in the early s by listing and explaining expectations for each gender.

The differences in these experiences are reflected in how male and female performers approach the same topics. For instance, while many men sing about leaving or going out on the road in search of better opportunities, many women would sing about being left behind in the household when their man left them. TTW lead a discussion of gender encouraging students to list all pre-conceived notions about males and females, both past and present.

When a woman gets the blues she goes to her room and hides When a woman gets the blues she goes to her room and hides When a man gets the blues he catch the freight train and rides. Today the blues is often associated with men playing the guitar, but the first stars of the blues were women. This was particularly important from a historical perspective because the blues were one of the first ways through which African American women could provide a public voice to express their political and social problems. Although both men and women often sing about similar topics, such as missing a loved one or having a broken heart, the details of their songs often vary because of the different experiences encountered by women and men.

In the early s, for instance, women were often expected to stay at home and take care of the household cooking, cleaning, child-rearing , while men were encouraged to leave the home in search of. Through performances and recordings, female singers could let other women know that they shared their problems, which often seemed unique to them because they were often experienced in the privacy of the home.

Likewise, men listening 1. The first major star of the blues was vocalist Bessie Smith, who became the highest paid African American entertainer of the s and travelled in her own railway car. She was originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and died in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in after an automobile wreck. Close-up from Riverside. In addition to the strong ideas presented in their songs, many of the early blues women represented a glamorous lifestyle, one that seemed out of reach to many of their fans—African American women at the time often worked six days a week in jobs such as farm laborers or as maids.

Ma Rainey, for instance, was famous for wearing earrings and a necklace made from gold dollars. Daphne Duval Harrison wrote a book about the early female blues singers called Black Pearls. Here she describes how they served as role models to others:. They demonstrated that black women could be financially independent, outspoken, and physically attractive. They dressed to emphasize their symbolic importance to their audiences. The queens, regal in their satins, laces, sequins and beads, and feather boas trailing from their bronze or peaches-and-cream shoulders, wore tiaras that sparkled in the lights.

The queens held court in dusty little tents, in plush city cabarets, in crowded theaters, in dance halls, and wherever else their loyal subjects would flock to pay homage. They rode in fine limousines, in special railroad cars, and in whatever was available, to carry them from country to town to city and back, singing as they went. The queens filled the hearts and souls of their subjects with joy and laughter and renewed their spirits with the love and hope that came from a deep well of faith and will to endure.

Source: Black Pearls, pp. TTW introduce Memphis Minnie, show pictures of the marker, and use the Mississippi map to locate Walls before continuing the narrative:. A popular image of the blues is of the lone guitarist, but there are few women who fit this stereotype. A notable exception was Memphis Minnie from Walls, Mississippi, who was one of the greatest of all blues guitarists.

She left home at an early age, played at juke joints in north Mississippi and Memphis, and later travelled the country with the Ringling Brothers circus. Gender: the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with males or females. The Blues and Gender A. Explain the difference between African American men and women in the early s by listing at least two expectations for each gender: 20 points Male Female 1 1 2 2 B.

Compare and contrast expectations for men and women in the early s with all men and women in the 21st century by using complete sentences. Students can be encouraged to explore noted African American women in the antebellum years and the time following emancipation. Was there much of a difference between slavery and emancipation for African Americans? The teacher may also ask students to draw a map of Mississippi exploring what the squiggly side represents Mississippi River , what the crooked bottom represents Gulf Coast , etc.

TTW designate groups within the class to create a visual representation of one of the geographical regions of Mississippi. Individuals or groups of students may elect to create a visual advertisement for one of the geographical regions of Mississippi or a city listed in the objective.

The Last Verse

Students may decide the medium drawing, painting, sculpture, video, mixed media, etc. Also, the introduction of mechanization processes in the planting, weeding, and harvesting of cotton is closely associated with the out-migration of many African American laborers from Mississippi, resulting in a large number of musicians and an even larger audience for the blues moving to northern cities including Chicago. The actual planting, weeding, and picking of cotton, though, would remain very difficult, labor intensive, and a slow process until the mids. The development of cotton production in Mississippi was aided by the introduction in the early s of steamboat travel on the Mississippi River.

In particular, the area around. The histories of cotton and the blues in Mississippi are very closely connected, particularly as it was the rise of the cot1. The steamboats allowed traffic to go up and down the river; before this no boats could go up the river because of the strong current. The workers at the cotton plantations in the Natchez area in the early s were slaves who were largely imported to the Mississippi region from states to the east.

Their labor made many plantation owners wealthy, and in the middle s there were five hundred millionaires living in the Natchez area, one of the highest concentrations of wealth in the world. The Civil War resulted in the end of slavery, but the cotton plantation system continued after its end, as did small farm production of cotton throughout the state. Shortly after the end of the war, cotton production became more important in the Delta.

There, the establishment of plantations could only take place after years of hard work clearing the land of swamps and forests, and building levees in order to prevent annual flooding. Because of these conditions, there were relatively few slaves in the Delta prior to the Civil War, and the companies clearing the land recruited many African American workers to come to the area; after the establishment of plantations, more workers were recruited to work the fields.

The Natchez area continued to be an important area for production, but it declined significantly in the early s with the arrival of an epidemic of boll weevils, a small insect that devastated crops because it fed on cotton buds and flowers. By the s the many plantations and new towns that arose in the Delta were connected by trains that connected the Delta with New Orleans and Memphis, and allowed for easier shipping of products including cotton.

The Dockery Farms plantation, east of Cleveland, was one of 2. Many folk songs were written about the boll weevil - here are some verses from the most popular version. Eli Whitney: an American inventor best known for inventing the cotton gin, which revolutionized cotton production in the American South Cotton gin: a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from the seed.

Steamboat: vessels used for river travel, which were powered by steam and made up-river travel much easier Plantation: large estate or farm Slavery: social system based on enslaved labor. Civil War: also known as the American Civil War , was a war fought over the cessation of the Confederate States in the southern part of the United States Mississippi River: chief river of the largest river system in the United States, which runs from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

Well, the first time I seen a boll weevil, He was sitting on a square, And the next time I seen the boll weevil, He had his whole [damn] family there, They were looking for a home, Just looking for a home. Levee: a man-made embankment beside a river Boll weevil: a small insect that devastates crops because it feeds on cotton buds and flowers. Sharecropping system: system of agriculture in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a share of the crop produced on the land 3.

Material may be separated into two categories for presentation: geographical locations and terms. TSW explain, both verbally and in writing, the correlation between low pay for cotton farming and the exodus of African Americans to the industrialized Midwest cities of Chicago and Detroit. Here one might also discuss how the tough life of agricultural workers was also reflected in country songs.


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Generally speaking, people in Mississippi and neighboring Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama moved northward, most notably to Chicago; people in Louisiana and Texas were more likely to move out West, mostly to California. Over one million people moved during this time, and another five million moved between and In the s many jobs were created to supply troops fighting in World War II, while many people left the South during the same time because new technologies made picking cotton and other crops require many less workers.

Since many African Americans have returned to the South. Here is some select text that explains the process. Use complete sentences to explain the following: 1 Why did many African Americans leave Mississippi to go to Chicago and Detroit in the s? In the Hopson Planting Company produced the first crop of cotton to be entirely planted, harvested, and baled by machine.


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In they succeeded in harvesting a crop using only machines, and the technology was soon implemented across the South, resulting in changes including the replacement of the sharecropping system with wage labor and the destruction of the abandoned homes of displaced workers. The Mississippi River B. Use complete sentences to explain the following: A. Trace by pointing out the location on a physical map and by drawing the trail on a blank Mississippi map.

After viewing photographs or art pieces of the era, TSW create a tableau of workers laboring and singing in the fields, displaying emotions of the individuals performing the tasks. TSW demonstrate their understanding of life along the Mississippi River in the s by writing a fictional account in the first-person. TSW demonstrate understanding of transportation by defining the term verbally and in writing as well as listing at least four modes of transportation.

TSW locate the Mississippi River on a map of the United States indicating origin and terminus by pointing out location and by drawing the river on a blank U. Repeat the first procedure as written. TTW provide magazines, newspapers and other printed materials for students to create a collage of modes of transportation. TTW introduce the topic of transportation by asking students to collectively brainstorm a definition, followed by each student individually listing as many possible modes of transportation on notebook paper.

TTW ask for volunteers to mime one of the modes of transportation listed for the class to guess. As each one is determined, the teacher will list 1. The teacher can further engage the students by asking them to recall their own personal travel experiences on a boat, plane, or train, listing the sequence of events ie: packing bag, locking up the house, terminal, baggage, security screening, boarding, seat-belts, take off, etc. Students may dramatically recreate the event individually or in groups. Natchez or New Orleans would often sell or dismantle their boats to sell for lumber, and then walk or ride horses back north to their homes.

They often took the Natchez Trace, an ancient path created by Native Americans that stretched four-hundred forty miles northeast to the location of present-day Nashville. TTW briefly describe the history of transportation along the Mississippi River using the following narrative:. The Native Americans who lived in Mississippi prior to the arrival of Europeans travelled by foot and, on smaller tributaries, by dugout canoe.

In the early s Spanish explorers and colonists introduced the horse to the region, and Native Americans soon adopted this mode of transportation. Travel along many stretches of the mighty Mississippi River was for centuries nearly impossible because of its powerful and dangerous current, but in the s European settlers began using flatboats or keelboats to travel downriver from the Midwest.

These boats, however, were unable to go back upstream—the current was simply too strong. Sailors who left their loads in. What is the rhyming pattern? TTW introduce information regarding steamboat travel on the Mississippi River with the following narrative:. While the riverboat era continued into the s, it began to decline in the mids with the rise of the railroad. Songs about the railway are much more common than songs about the river in blues, which arose during the height of the railway era in the late s. Still, a good number of blues songs celebrate the powerful Mississippi River and the mighty steamboats.

Transportation changed dramatically in the early s, with the arrival of regular steamboat traffic. These large, steampropelled boats with giant paddles could travel up and down the Mississippi River, carrying goods and passengers between New Orleans and cities to the north. As we addressed in the lesson about cotton, the arrival of regular steamboat traffic is what allowed cotton cultivation to take off in the Natchez area and, later, the Delta.

The loved one, in other words, is out of reach. African American slaves and, later, freedmen, worked on the boats and along the docks in river cities including Natchez, Vicksburg, Greenville, Helena, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee. The dockworkers—or stevedores—often sang while they worked. You keep me worried, you keep me bothered, all the time. Teachers may show photographs or art pieces of river workers, divide the class into groups and ask each group to describe the workers portrayed in each piece.

Students may create a tableau of those workers in the art piece with their body language and facial expression. I went down to the landing To see if any boats were there And the ferryman told me Could not find the boats nowhere. In the early s the steamboats were relatively slow—less than ten miles an hour—and it would take five and a half days to travel between New Orleans and Natchez. By , though, it was possible to make the trip in just over ten hours, and steamboat captains sometimes raced down the river. This was very dangerous as it overheated the engines and risked explosions.

The Kate Adams was celebrated in other songs as well. Katy Adams got ways Just like a man Because she steals a woman sweet loving babe Everywhere she lands. Teachers may want students to investigate the reason for increased steamboat speed or may defer to later in the instructional period see projects. Be certain to include current geographical location or plans to mail the letter in a port along the Mississippi River.

Define transportation in your own words B. Draw the Mississippi River on the U. Draw the Natchez Trace from its starting to ending points on the Mississippi map below. Create a scene, monologue, or movement piece inspired by one of the songs included in the lesson. Why did African American slaves and freedmen sing while working along the Mississippi River? List at least two feelings expressed by the songs.

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Docks: group of piers for ships; place for ships to moor Freedmen: African American women and men who were not enslaved during the slavery era. The lesson can be shortened by presentation of smaller segments of the eight teaching procedures during each instructional period. Students can be encouraged to explore the Mississippi Blues Trail website to view other videos and locate other links to blues information. Students can find books or Internet sources that further illustrate transportation or Mississippi blues songs about transportation. Using the information gleaned about feelings, TSW create lyrics for a blues song about train travel expressing various emotions.

TSW demonstrate understanding of the historical and cultural life of African Americans in Mississippi from the end of the Civil War in through by writing a fictional account in the first-person. TSW bring the fictional account to life through monologue or adapting the story for a dramatic presentation by creating a script, designing scenery, props, or costumes.

TSW may also create a visual art project drawing, collage, etc. And proceed to define: railroad, locomotive, steam engine with encouragement toward the following definitions:. As we note in the lesson about cotton, the rise of that crop in the Delta is tied to the emergence of a network of trains in the Delta in the s.

TTW will then continue with the narrative:. Unlike a horse, though, it could continue at the same pace for hundreds of miles. The train revolutionized travel—a trip that once would have taken weeks could now take just a full day—and people could now envision being able to relocate to, say, Chicago, in less than 24 hours.

In addition to the Peavine marker, several other Blues Trail markers address the train and its relationship to the blues. These trains were often initially used to help remove lumber during the long process of clearing the Delta of forests and swamps; later they connected individual plantations to the main lines to Memphis, Jackson and other larger cities. I walked down the track when the stars refused to shine Looked like every minute I was going to lose my mind Now my knees was weak, my footsteps was all I heard Looked like every minute I was stepping in another world.

Casey said again, before he died, One more road that he wanted to ride People wondered what road could that be? France, courtesy Water Valley Railroad Museum. Jones, who had lived and worked in the railroad town of Water Valley, was credited with saving the lives of his passengers and crew. TTW introduce Jimmie Rodgers and ask for a student volunteer to locate Meridian and perhaps New Orleans on the physical map of Mississippi or point out the locations and continue with the following narrative:.

Jimmie Rodgers from Meridian was one of the most popular artists of his day, and prior to becoming a full time musician he worked on the railroad as a brakeman, a job that involved. He worked on the New Orleans and Northeastern Railway, which ran between Meridian and New Orleans, and he often encountered other musicians while travelling. Although Rodgers worked on a train, one of his most famous songs is about a hobo looking for a ride on a boxcar. Well, I rode number seventy-four, boys, And the rain was falling down Well, I rode number seventy-four, boys, And the rain was falling down Well, you know I got awful cold and chilly Boys, but I was Chicago bound.

Just as men often sang about using the train to get away, they sometimes complained about the train as the way that their loved one left them. M Media Resource - audio and video train songs TTW ask for a student volunteer to locate Greenville, Grenada and Amory on the physical map of Mississippi or show the location and continue with the following narrative:. Riding on boxcars or on other areas of freight trains was a common theme of blues songs, largely because many blues singers travelled this way, particularly during the Great 4.

Going to fall on my knees, pray to the Lord above Going to fall on my knees, pray to the Lord above Please send me back the only man I love. While some women did leave by taking the train, others sang about being left behind by their man, who left on a train. The train I ride is eighteen coaches long The train I ride is eighteen coaches long And the man that I love, been done here and gone. Or, designate a narrator to read they lyrics as others mime the actions of the people in the ballad.

Locomotive: rail engine Steam engine: train with an engine powered by steam as opposed to coal Train depot: place where trains stopped to pick up or drop off passengers. Specify that most railroad positions were male-dominated. Use the information generated about feelings to create lyrics for a blues song about train travel expressing various emotions.

Write a fictional account in the first-person of the historical and cultural life of African Americans in Missisisppi from the end of the Civil War in through Bring the fictional account to life through monologue or adapting the story for a dramatic presentation by creating a script, designing scenery, props, or costumes. The student may also create a visual art project drawing, collage, etc. Dramatize the words to any of the blues songs in this lesson. Use the lyrics to create a script for the characters, ac6.

Locate the following cities on a blank map of the U. Students can find books or Internet sources that further illustrate trains or Mississippi blues songs about rail travel. The lesson can be shortened by presentation of smaller segments of the six teaching procedures during each instructional period. TSW form lines to create each of the highways listed above. Teachers are encouraged to utilize available technology to take pictures of local highway signs in your community.

Within Mississippi, some of the important early state highways included Highway 49, which ran from Gulfport to Clarksdale and today into Arkansas ; Highway 45, which goes south from Corinth through Meridian; and Highway 10, which ran eastward from Greenville, and which was later replaced by Highway Nevertheless, the car soon became a relatively common sight, and more successful blues artists—such as Charley Patton— were able to purchase their own.

Passengers on a train that ran from New Orleans to Memphis had to debark in Leland and eat at cafes there while the train backed into Greenville to pick up more passengers. The train literally drove backwards for the 10 miles from Leland to Greenville, as not to change tracks. The train would then drive back to Leland, gather the passengers and continue down the line to New Orleans or Memphis.

Like the railways, the highways provided blues artists with both a practical means of travel to and from performances, and also served to spark the imagination. This is most evident in the many songs about Highway 61, which ran cut through the Delta and was the way many Mississippians moved northward. Few of the blues songs about Highway 61—which is memorialized in Blues Trail markers in both Vicksburg and Tunica—are very accurate in their depiction of where it travels, but this did not do anything to diminish the idea of Highway 61 as a road that could take you far away from your current problems.

With the mass-production of cars, national, state and local governments had to start building more roads. A system of national, numbered roads emerged, including Highway 61—which ran from New Orleans through Mississippi and 2. Also note how Greyhound is compared with the dog after which the bus line was named. Now, if I should die Before my time should come I say, if I should die, umm Just before my time should come I want you to please bury my body Out on Highway I started school one Monday morning Lord, I throwed my books away I started school one Monday morning Lord, I throwed my books away I wrote a note to my teacher, Lord I gonna try 61, today.

TTW ask students to raise a hand if they have ever ridden a Greyhound Bus to another city, or ask those who have at least seen a Greyhound Bus to raise a hand. In this song McClennan referred to both a V8 Ford and the Greyhound bus line, describing the bus as looking like the racing dog that is its namesake. When the song was written cars were still relatively rare, particularly among poor, rural people, and bus lines served as an important form of transport. The Greyhound and Trailways lines connected Mississippians to the rest of the country, while local entrepreneurs often provided bus—or flatbed truck—service to take rural people into towns on Saturdays for shopping and entertainment.

King stepping off his bus at Club Ebony in Indianola, Mississippi, A famous photograph of B. King shows him and his band posed in front of a bus that King bought in King continues to travel by bus today. Goodbye baby. Automobiles The automobile served an important practical function, in the sense that people could travel wherever they want, any time they want, which was not possible with train or steamboat service.

Another important side of the car, though, was that of a status symbol. Simply having a car was something to boast about back in the day, and particularly if you had a beautiful new car. Everybody likes my Rocket Originally written and recorded by Mississippian K. Look-it-here man, please check this oil Look-it here man, please check this oil Just a long Cadillac, bound to try out your soil.

The Rocket 88 was made by Ad for the Oldsmobile 88 the Oldsmobile company, and here Brenston sings about how much fun it is to drive around in one. You woman have heard of jalopies, You heard the noise they make, Let me introduce you to my Rocket I found out, what my baby likes. She likes a whole lot of loving, And a straight-eight Pontiac 6. We gonna get on the highway, And cut the bright lights on.

Get on the highway, Got the bright lights on. Turn the radio on, Dig that voice from the North. We gonna move, down highway We gonna move, down the highway Choose either a U. TTW ask students to imagine working on an assembly line doing the same thing over and over again and describe what feelings may ensue could those feelings inspire a blues song?

TTW will continue with the following narrative: Many migrants who moved north to the state of Michigan found work at automotive plants. Highways such as 49, 80, 61, 51, etc. Using the blank map of Mississippi, draw the following U. Write a story about a farmer in the Mississippi Delta who decides to leave family in Mississippi and drive to Detroit to find a job in the automobile industry. List at least three reasons. Investigate route maps for Greyhound Lines or Trailways Bus System in Mississippi between to determine which bus line served the town nearest the school.

Locate the building that was or still is the bus station in town and find pictures of past and present. Use printed historical documents from the public library, historical association, or in personal interviews with senior citizens to determine the layout of the bus station, frequency of bus service, cost of travel, and other important facts. Possibly use information gleaned to write a story about a traveler, bus station worker, or town citizen in regard to the bus station. Students can find books or Internet sources that further illustrate automobile manufacturing, road travel via car or bus or Mississippi blues songs about traveling the open road.

See following pages for quiz and blank map. List at least three reasons:. One reason that blues is not more directly political likely has to do with the nature of the social and political world at the time of its emergence in the late s and early s. During the Reconstruction era immediately following the Civil War African Americans were given many new freedoms, notably the right to vote. In Mississippi African Americans were elected to offices including U.

Senator Blanche K.

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House of Representatives John R. Lynch , and Secretary of State James D. Both formal and informal rules also prevented African Americans from voting or even registering to vote. And more generally, there was a continual threat of violence to those who complained about or disobeyed these rules. The blues is thought to have emerged in the s, not long after all these laws and regulations were established. To do so, quite simply, might be dangerous in which to engage for African Americans in the South.

We can, however, see how blues singers sang about their social and political problems in other ways. For instance, there any many songs that address mistreatment without being very specific about any problem, and others that address basic political conditions, such as a bad economy, poverty, or current political events. Later in this lesson we can see how blues artists began singing more directly about issues such as racism and segregation once they had relocated to the North, and were relatively shielded from punishment for speaking their mind.

And, finally, we can see more directly political songs from the Civil Rights era in the s, when many African Americans became vocal about their mistreatment. They use different kinds of animals, ducks, geese, chickens. Source: Living Blues magazine. TTW introduce the idea of mistreatment having students imagine the following new rules at school: 1 School begins at 6 a. He recalled how African American farmers used to yell or curse at their mules instead of directing their anger at their boss man, who had no idea he was being criticized.

TTW ask students to react and will notate responses on the board these may be used later to create a blues song. In order to demonstrate the evolution of blues lyrics as a way of commenting on political conditions: The students will be encouraged to write a song that does not speak specifically about the mistreatment. Then students will be asked to write a song that does speak specifically about mistreatment. In the beginning of the song Boyd suggests that anyone who has experienced mistreatment can relate to his story.

Have you ever been mistreated? I worked five long years for one woman, She had the nerve to put me out. Students may also be encouraged to create a tableau or a short skit to enact the new rules as a performance. TTW continue the thread of mistreatment in the blues with the following narrative and the listening of the blues song:.

I got a job in a steel mill, shucking steel like a slave. Five long years, every Friday I come straight back home with all my pay. In the following quotation King is talking about the early days of the blues:. I finally learned my lesson, Should a long time ago. The next woman that I marry, She gonna work and bring me the dough. I worked five long years for one woman, She had the nerve, She had the nerve, She had the nerve, She had the nerve to put me out. So you had to use this woman for to get your message across. In one of the earlier lessons we talked about how blues singers often sang about trains as a way to get away from their troubles.

Here she sings about the train as a way to get away from the racism she experienced under Jim Crow laws. TTW assist the students in locating Dunleith, Mississippi, on the map and continue with the following narrative and the listening of the blues song:. It was also a favorite of Elvis Presley, who performed and recorded many blues songs. Big boss man Can you hear me when I call? While some prisoners were sent there for crimes of violence or theft, the county farm Son House Blues Trail Marker.

In , bluesman J. TTW use the following narrative to explain The Great Depression of the s and then listen to the blues songs:. Many songs that were recorded during the Depression of the s—a time when many people were out of work—complained about how difficult it was to survive. The U. The grass is all dying, the rivers all dropping low Do you know what is the matter? Starvation is at my door Well, I used to eat cake, but now I have to eat Hard cornbread And now I would rather be sleeping somewhere In the graveyard dead 4.

Reconstruction: An era immediately following the Civil War when African Americans were given many new freedoms, notably the right to vote. Jim Crow Laws: State and local laws that resulted in segregation of schools, public spaces and public transportation Segregation: The separation or isolation of a race, class or ethnic group by discriminatory means.

These projects may be group or individual. Teachers are encouraged to utilize websites to show images of this time as well as use discussion and simulations to build understanding and vocabulary of this era before exploring the projects listed below. Investigate the lives of African Americans elected to state or national office during the Reconstruction Period in American history that results in a timeline or narrative. Use one of the blues songs to write a short story of a family living in the Great Depression.

Sift through the lyrics of songs known as African American 5. Explain the following using your own words: How did blues singers in the south sing about social and political problems facing African Americans? How did blues singers in the north sing about social and political problems facing African Americans?

Write a short paragraph explaining your answer to the question: Even though African Americans were free from slavery at the end of the Civil War, why were blacks not truly free in the early 20th century? The lesson may be shortened by presentation of smaller segments of the six teaching procedures with or without group projects during each instructional period. Students may be encouraged to explore the Mississippi Blues Trail website to view other videos and locate other links to blues information. Songs that mention politics more directly Blues musicians who lived in the South or were otherwise concerned with performing or selling their records in this region had to consider the possible negative effect on their careers when deciding to play or record songs that criticized the treatment of African Americans under Jim Crow.

It was a different case for artists who lived in the North or overseas— they could be more free in expressing themselves. Kennedy on the status of African Americans. One of the most politically outspoken blues artists was Big Bill Broonzy. During the s Broonzy was a popular recording artist, performing songs about romance, loneliness, and other popular blues themes.

He became particularly popular among folk music fans in Chicago, and was also one of the first blues singers to visit Europe, where he was very well known. TSW write short stories, narratives, or timelines based on blues songs, the folk song movement, African Americans in the U. They said:. Military or may continue with the following narrative and Blues song:. Like Broonzy, Josh White from South Carolina had a successful recording career performing very typical blues before he became known as a political singer.

They said: 2. Military was segregated, and that African Americans were only given menial jobs. One of the notable things about that song was that he mentioned at the end two United States presidents who were beloved by African Americans. Many blues and gospel singers sang tributes to President John F. Kennedy after his assassination, and there were also many tributes to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt both during his administration and after his death.

If you ask me, I think democracy is fine, I mean democracy without the color line. If possible, interviews should be recorded using audio, video or computer recording equipment. TTW initiate a discussion with the question: What is the purpose of a good education? TTW lead students to make the connection between education and opportunities for higher wages before continuing with the following narrative and blues song:. Pianist and vocalist Champion Jack Dupree, who was born in New Orleans, moved in the s to Europe, where he lived for decades.

Most of his songs were not about politics, but some were very detailed in describing life under segregation. Research the status of African Americans in the U. Kennedy on the status of African Americans that results in a narrative or timeline. Kennedy that related to the status of African Americans. Write a script that combines elements of all three speeches to be given by characters depicting these three men or perform an entire speech as a monologue.

See Living History assignment above. Explain the following using your own words: How did the blues connect to social and political protest? Write a short paragraph explaining your answer to the question: Did the conclusion of the Civil War have a dramatic effect on the status of African Americans? TTW use the following narrative to introduce the Civil Rights movement and continue with the blues song:. Supreme Court decided that school segregation was unconstitutional.

The following year African American Rosa Parks sparked a boycott of public transportation in Montgomery after she famously refused to move to the back of the bus on which she was riding. The bravery of people like Rosa Parks and Dr. King in the face of violence encouraged many people, including musicians, to become more vocal in their criticism of racism and other sorts of discriminatory behavior.

Still, many artists were reluctant to record or perform political songs because it might hurt their career, especially if they wanted to tour or sell records in the South. TSW explain both verbally and in writing how African Americans overcame forced racial inferiority through nonviolence. Some of the most powerful songs recorded during the Civil Rights era were from bluesman J. Lenoir, a native of the Monticello area. Significantly, he recorded these to be released in Germany—the songs he recorded for the commercial market in the United States addressed more typical blues themes.

Ride on, ride on red, ride on Gonna ride off to my freedom And make those northern states my home. We made it to Shreveport, where we were Supposed to eat I got myself a sandwich and ate it on the street. Ride on, Louisiana Red, ride on Gonna ride on to your freedom And make those northern states your home.

But I count myself a lucky man Just to get away with my life. We made it into Little Rock, we made another state Took the whole of the U. Ride on, ride on Red, ride on Gonna ride off to my freedom And make those northern states my home. A new phase of the Civil Rights movement began in the early s with the arrival of the sit-in movements, in which protestors occupied public facilities such as restaurants. They were often met by violent crowds. King blues song with the following narrative: Medgar Evers was a Civil Rights leader in Jackson, Mississippi and in was killed at his home by a man opposed to the changes that the Civil Charles Evers Blues Trail marker Rights movement was trying to make.

After his death his brother, Charles Evers, came back to Mississippi from Chicago to continue his work. Well I left my home in Vicksburg 2. For many years B. King was the headliner at the festival, which also featured many other blues artists. In the s B. One more time!

TTW share the psychological implications of Jim Crow laws on African Americans and the positive reaction through music with the following:. In the s Cooke became a gospel star while singing lead vocals with the group the Soul Stirrers. In , though, he began singing secular non-religious music including pop, blues and soul. Although this song was released as a secular soul song, churches have embraced it because of its positive message.

I have a rich, noble, and proud heritage. Another form of political expression during the Civil Rights era were songs that expressed pride in being African American. TTW assist the students in locating Inverness on the Mississippi map, draw attention to the Blues Trail Marker, and conclude with the following:.

Investigate the Civil Rights movement that results in a narrative or timeline. Use information gleaned from research to write a historical fictional account of a Freedom Rider or freedom marcher. Recreate Dr. Investigate the lives of one or more of the following: Dr. Civil Rights Movement: a social movement aimed at outlawing racial discrimination against African Americans. See following pages for printable quiz. Sit-in movements: a non-violent form of protest in which individuals occupied segregated public spaces, such as restaurants, to bring attention to the unjustness of Jim Crow laws.

Freedom Riders: Civil Rights activists who rode buses into the South in May of to test a Supreme Court decision against segregation of interstate travel. Many were beaten and jailed. Charles Evers: the older brother of Medgar Evers; also a Civil Rights activist and the first African American to be elected mayor of a Mississippi town since Reconstruction. Students may be encouraged to find books or Internet sources that further illustrate the Civil Rights Movement, Dr.

Explain the following using your own words: How did blues singers in the South sing about social and political problems facing African Americans? How did blues singers in the North sing about social and political problems facing African Americans? One of the most important aspects about the entertainment media was that it provided African Americans with an important outlet to express themselves. During the segregation era African Americans in the South were generally not able to present a positive self image through newspapers or radio talk shows.

Through sheet music, live performances, recordings, and musical appearances on the radio, though, they could communicate many ideas about their dreams, sorrows, and simple joys. One of the first accounts of the blues was by W. Handy, a bandleader from northwest Alabama.

In the early s he was living in the Clarksdale area, and one day he found himself waiting on a train in Tutwiler. Also there was a man playing the guitar, using a knife to press down on the top strings. In his autobiography Father of the Blues W. Not long after this Handy was in Cleveland, Mississippi, and saw a group of young men playing music similar to what he heard in Tutwiler on guitar, bass and mandolin.

Born to the life

Handy Blues Trail marker cians. It was at this moment that Handy realized there was money to be made in the blues. Immediately following, TTW set the scene with pictures of Cleveland, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee, and continue with the narrative:. Media and the blues lesson African American agricultural workers created the blues in the late s and early s, and its content reflected their hopes, frustrations and the general experiences of their daily lives.

Very soon after the music emerged, though, the blues also became a commercial music that was sought out by the music industry. Companies began selling blues in the form of sheet music and phonograph records, and later via tapes, CDs and digital downloads. In the form of recordings, the music also spread through various media forms—the radio, 1.

David Crosby. Smith performed mostly at fancy theaters in big cities that featured Vaudeville shows. These included musicians, comedians, dancers, magicians and other entertainers, and were a way for many African Americans to enter show business. Like the vaudeville stage shows they included many different sorts of entertainment. The building that housed the hospital for African Americans where Smith died later became the Riverside Hotel, where many blues musicians lived. Investigate vaudeville shows that results in the creation of original acts created by students during a group project and culminates in a performance.

Research the Rabbit Foot Minstrels that results in the creation of a show developed by students during a group project and culminates in a performance. Like many early blues performers, Bessie Smith started off her professional career working in carnivals and traveling tent shows. These shows would travel across the country by train or truck, and would often set up in vacant lots in cities or sometimes even in rural areas between cities. When they arrived in new places they would often have a parade to advertise that they were in town, and some groups even had their own baseball teams that would play local teams.

Following the investigation of either the vaudeville or minstrel performance circuit write a short story based on the life of a performer. TTW explain the term minstrel and assist students in locating Port Gibson on the Mississippi map before continuing the narrative:. Delve into the life of W.

Handy and write a timeline or narrative extoling the efforts to encourage African American performances in the media. Use research material to name specific artists and songs. One of the most famous of these was the Rabbit Foot Minstrels, who were based for many years out of Port Gibson, Mississippi. Groups like the Rabbit Foot Minstrels played an important role in the spread of the blues, particularly as they introduced music to new areas. Folk music: traditional music and songs created in a particular region by non-professional musicians. Traveling tent shows: a group of performers who traveled from town to town, setting up and performing in tents for the public Vaudeville: variety shows popular in the late s and early s that featured musicians, comedians, dancers, and other entertainers; many African American performers entered show business through vaudeville.

Minstrel Show: a variety show that featured comics, singers, dancers, etc. Minstrelsy, in which performers often wore blackface makeup, was the most popular form of entertainment for most of the s. Port Gibson, Mississippi: home of the Rabbit Foot Minstrels Rabbit Foot Minstrels: a traveling variety show that included blues performers; Recognized for making blues popular Materials.

Students can find books in the library that further illustrate Mississippi blues or use a search-engine to explore performances by noted blues artists. When artists such as Bessie Smith and Mamie Smith were first recorded, they were already professional musicians that played on a regular circuit of theaters across the South, the Northeast, and the Midwest.

It was a very different situation for Mississippi musicians who lived in the country. They often played at parties or other gathering for tips, drinks and food. In the late s and early s recording companies that were based mostly in New York and Chicago decided that they wanted to find new talent in the South, and in order to do so they hired local agents and set up temporary studios in various Southern cities.

In Mississippi a man named H.

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