Teaching About Police Brutality Through Music



social justice, music


I taught 2nd year high school students at a private girl’s school in Japan about police brutality and the African American experience through songs by four different African American artists: Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, James Brown and Alicia Keys. Other resources utilized in this elective class included the film “The Hate U Give” (2018), interviews and videos on YouTube and an original interview with an African American teacher working at the school.  Utilizing music and many other primary sources, this course helped students improve their English, learn about American culture, and reflect on challenging current events. While the topic was linguistically difficult for English language learners, I introduced vocabulary from the songs and other sources, prepared pre-viewing guides, and regularly checked for comprehension through discussion questions and collecting student work. The students seemed to appreciate being able to discuss a difficult, relevant topic, and their vocabulary related to the subject matter steadily improved. Students also seemed to enjoy the materials used to teach the content matter. 




How to Cite

Engle, A. (2021). Teaching About Police Brutality Through Music. Babylonia Journal of Language Education, 1, 71–75. Retrieved from https://babylonia.online/index.php/babylonia/article/view/43