To continue celebrating Black History Month, let’s visit Miss Jessica’s World, a new YouTube channel of lively,engaging videos that feature books, music and an appreciation for a variety of cultures. Today, I’d like to highlight Miss Jessica’s video “Black People Who Changed the World” a fun combination of music, dance, and spoken word that spotlights dozens of Black people from throughout history. Miss Jessica breaks the song down into segments, each featuring a different collection of people including – musicians, authors and scientists, athletes, actors, freedom fighters, and a U.S. President (it’s clear that Miss Jessica is a big fan of this guy!) and Vice President. Those mentioned in the song span history from Jesse Owens to Amanda Gorman.
In addition to photos of each person mentioned in the song, all of the lyrics appear across the bottom of the video in an easy to read font and the pacing of the song is just right, allowing for listeners/viewers to catch each name as it goes by. Throughout the video Miss Jessica performs a fun dance during the chorus which will definitely get viewers up and moving. Take a listen, try out your dance moves and celebrate. It’s Miss Jessica’s World and you’re going to enjoy being in it!
Fyütch is an incredible one-of-a-kind performer. He’s the master of the theme song remix, a social justice artist, an entertainer who combines music and visuals in new, inclusive ways (ASL plus a slow jam = awesome!) and family music performer. Last fall he debuted the fantastic “Indigenous Peoples Day Song for Kids” and just two weeks ago premiered his newest family music offering – “Black Women in History” which features Rissi Palmer and Snooknuk.
One of the things that elevates the song and video “Black Women in History” is that rather than focus on women that we are all familiar with, Fyütch instead chooses to weave lesser known, but equally important, historical figures like Fannie Lou Hamer, Juno Frankie Pierce, and Claudette Colvin into the song’s narrative. Not only does Fyütch weave them in, but he draws a line through history showing how the groundbreakers paved the way for today’s amazing women. A great example of this is highlighting Rebecca Crumpler, the first Black woman with a medical degree followed by the first Black, female veterinarians and ending with Dr. Kizzy who helped create the COVID-19 vaccine. Photographs of each woman mentioned in the song appear throughout the video. The lyrics are displayed on the screen in an easy to read manner that adds to the depth of the song by ensuring that listeners don’t miss a single thing. Enjoy this tour through history then ask your local library to help you find more information about these awe-inspiring women!
Jessica “Culture Queen” Hebron’s 2016 album, I Like The Me I See! is the perfect way to celebrate Black History Month. All 14 songs in this collection speak to a history filled with culture, traditions and royalty. The opening three tracks – “Culture Kingdom (Time To Have Fun),” “I’m A Culture Kingdom Kid!” and “I’m A Tower of Royal Power” and the closing track, “I Am The Future of Black History” call upon children to stand tall and embrace their heritage by learning about the past and working to create a beautiful future. Several additional songs including “A Wonderful Book,” “Culture Everyday,” and “I Love My History” encourage children of all cultures to be proud of who they are and the rich histories from which they come. Culture Queen’s beautiful voice is backed by a group of marvelous musicians as well as a chorus of talented, joyful young people. Also included are several songs that would work really well in storytimes. “Rise and Rhyme” features stretching and counting, “North, South, East & West” is a great jumping song, and “Super Shaker Song” (see video below) would be great with shakers or drums and as an overall movement song.
Another excellent song for storytime is the title track, “I Like The Me I See!” The lyrics to this call and response tune encourage children to find every single thing about themselves (hair, eyes, feet, skin, tummy) beautiful. The chorus proclaims, “I like the me I see, I am who I’m supposed to be.” Paired with the picture book of the same name, written by Culture Queen and illustrated by Solomia Kovalchuk, “I Like The Me I See!” would be perfect to share, not just during Black History Month, but any day of the year.