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I don't know if they are available in your neck of the woods, but picture books by Ezra Jack Keats show African American children doing ordinary children things. I especially like Snowy Day. If that's what you're looking for.
Some spirituals which are documented to be from the era of slavery: Go Down Moses, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Steal Away. But to tie in with this book, I might look more to other forms of African-American music like jazz and Motown, which would be more likely to be the music they'd listen to at home (given the era of the book). Or gospel, which is the music they'd listen to at church. There are a TON of gospel choir videos on YouTube.We'll record Michael reading the book tonight, BTW.
I looked at some youtube stuff – there's an awful lot out there, and it looks like Pick A Bale Of Cotton wasn't fake, which is nice; basically I can sing that, Swing Low, Joshua and Summertime, and I knew Summertime was fake. I like (though they may not care) pointing out that these songs they know fairly well come from the place in the book. Looking at music which would be new to them would be nice too.
Wait, I just saw the last line – he agreed to record a reading of the book? That is SO BRILLIANT – thank you, and thank him, squillions! I look forward to it immensely!
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