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Arts Toolkit: Drama Video Clips

Words Like Freedom



This segment from the KET production Words Like Freedom/Sturdy Black Bridges includes works by three African-American women writers: “Ain’t I a Woman” by 19th-century abolitionist and feminist Sojourner Truth; “Alabama Centennial,” a poem about the civil rights movement of the 1960s by Naomi Long Madgett; and Nikki Giovanni’s popular self-love poem, “Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why).” Words Like Freedom/Sturdy Black Bridges is a 60-minute poetic concert that celebrates the African-American legacy of both the written and the spoken word. The pieces are performed by Priscilla Hancock Cooper and Dhana Bradley Donaldson.

Suggested Uses:

  • Discuss how poetry can express complex issues and concepts about human relations and behavior.
  • Explore the power of words in swaying public opinion.
  • Use to explore and enhance the study of American history (topics: abolition, feminism, civil rights).
  • Use as a model for interpreting poetry, either as a solo performance or as a duet.

Lesson plans using this resource:

  • Exploring History Through Poetry (9-12)
    Students research the historical references in “Alabama Centennial” and create an informational presentation explaining the references in the poem.

For more information:

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About Words Like Freedom/Sturdy Black Bridges:


600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951