Scholars at HLA – Northrop celebrated African American History Month through reading, history, art, music and even in classes like physical education.

To kick music class off, scholars explored music from West Africa that combines singing, movement and drums. They learned a Liberian welcome song called “Fanga Alafia” and a fun song-game from Ghana called “Kye Kye Kule.” Scholars sang in English and several African languages. Check out this one in Swahili!



The following week, scholars learned about history topics related to slavery, and the role of spirituals in bringing hope and in communicating secret messages to one another. Think of songs like “Follow the Drinking Gourd.”

Many people don’t know that during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, many of these traditional spirituals were given new lyrics. Scholars learned the historical and cultural significance of songs like “We Shall Overcome” and “This Little Light of Mine.”

In lessons on blues and jazz, scholars heard from jazz greats like Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. Finally, scholars explored rock, R&B and hip-hop music. If that sounds exciting to you, imagine the smiles that on scholars’ faces!

African American History Month