For the topic of my playlist, I chose music that showed a change in American Society, whether the music itself changed society, or if what the song is about showed a shift in our culture. For this theme, I found an article from Time magazine titled “25 Moments That Changed America”, and looked up songs about some of these specific moments. Other songs I just chose a particular movement, or cause people were fighting for, and looked for music about that. I have a song that deals with labor laws, and the unions that workers found refuge in during their working times like “Union Maid” by The Almanac Singers. Another about refugees and their fight to America with U2’s “The Refugee”. I also decided to include FDR’s campaign song “Happy Days are Here Again” which marked a huge shift in the American image, and was a huge boost to morale. I have included many songs that deal with the Civil Rights movement, and a notable one is “Take my Hand, Precious Lord” by Thomas A. Dorsey, which kick started the genre of the Blues. Blues was considered the music that was played and credited for forwarding the Civil Rights Movement. You can hear the influence of Dorsey in other songs like “Sit Down Children” by The Helen Robinson Youth Choir, and “Sticks and Stones” by Sugar Chile Robinson. Many more songs including Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”, Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free”, and Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” marked a major call to action in the treatment of African Americans. More recently Donald Glover, or Childish Gambino, released a modern-day equivalent titled “This is America”, touching on similar themes as the songs before him, but adding a modern relevance. Other major themes include Feminism, with songs about the release of the birth control pill, Loretta Lynn’s “The Pill”, and “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore, speaking on a women’s independence, and self-worth. Anti-War movements started picking up, and the songs at the forefront of the Vietnam War protests were “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan, and John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” calling people to think about the damages of war, and what our society would be without it. The last, and very recent theme I decided to include was the fight for marriage equality for the LGBT community, and Macklemore’s “Same Love” perfectly captures the spirit of this movement towards equality. All of these songs encompass the spirit of change in our society, and show how music can make a huge difference when fighting for something you believe in.

Unit 6 Topic: P.T. Barmun
P.T. Barnum is the prefect embodiment of the Gilded Age. His show advertised wondrous oddities that many were intrigued by. He was also born as someone who didn't have much to their name, which also embodies all the ideas of Capitalism. He began with a museum,
Tell me more! Such an interesting dude. -SW

Historian Points:

Unit 1 Interesting Topic
The Middle Passage
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The Middle Passage forced Africans to board ships, and travel across the Atlantic to the New World and become slaves from 1518 to the mid-19th century. One leg of this triangular trade route took goods, such as ammunition, cotton cloth, tools, knives, and guns, from Europe to Africa. From there is when the Africans went onto ships and were taken to the Americas to become slaves. The crew got the Africans onto the ship by kidnapping, and forcing them to march to the coast under awful conditions. While they marched and were at dock on the ship, they were constantly being raided by hostile tribes, plagued by sickness, and attacked by pirates. On board the ships, the slaves were kept in close quarters, with no space to move around, unless they were brought to the deck to "dance", which was just jumping up and down. They had approximately six feet long, 16 inches wide, and 3 feet tall. Many died in this position. It is estimated that around 13 percent died on the 1-3 month trip due to many unsanitary causes such as fever, dysentery. Some also committed suicide because of the physical, emotional and metal abuse they were put through.
I think this is an interesting topic because it teaches us how our country really got it's start, and the horrific lengths we went to to become a very economically powerful country.

Consider how most great civilizations came to be who they were or are today. They all have one major thing in common, and that is that they were all built on the backs of others. Whether they practiced slavery or not, all great civilizations were built by the people who were viewed as lesser in the eyes of those in charge. . . Great success comes from great sacrifice. . . There is nothing that we could've done to change how our country came to be. If it wasn't built on the backs of the millions of slaves and indentured servants that were brought over, then who else would have been forced against their will to build our country from the ground up? I am not saying that slavery should be viewed as acceptable or morally right, I am just saying that there is little that anyone could have done to stop it. This fact really brings in perspective of the privileges we have today, and who we should really be thanking for them. If we cannot change history, then we must honor those who gave their lives, willingly or not, to give us what we have today, and do our best to better the conditions that people work in today and do our part to provide for the coming generations.
- CY