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Has change come to America ?














to emancipate from

to rise up against - to stand up for

to fight for - to struggle

to make one's voice heard

to empower

to improve

to be committeed to

to denounce

to march – to protest – to demonstrate

resilience - resilient

civil desobedience



conscientous objector

peaceful – non violent


to be discriminated against

to be prejudiced against someone / something

to be oppressed

to feel oppressed

to prevent someone from

to be underpriviledged

to be segregated


segregation /desegretation





excluded – alineated / included



Les temps grammaticaux

- Le prétérit pour parler d'évenements passés (ago)
- Le présent perfect lie passé et présent / pour parler d'une action qui dure (since et for)
- Le présent raconte ce qui se passe en ce moment

La voix passive

Met l'accent sur l'action réalisée :

ex : he was discriminated against when he was young

Les déterminants

Ø Afro americans were abused for centuries
The activist(s) I met talked about...

Exprimer le but

To / so as to / in order to + V à l'infinitif

Les pronoms relatifs

He was the first person who...
The law which / that was voted...
The speech that she gave was moving.


Attention aux « ed » des verbes au prétérit et adjectifs

Attention, lorsqu'un verbe se termine par le suffixe « ate », l'accent se place deux syllabes avant

ex : segregate, demonstrate, regulate, ...
ex : emancipate, discriminate, determinate..

Sauf si moins de 2 syllabes : create, relate, debate

Pour le substantif, l'accent se place sur l'avant dernière syllabe (segregation, demonstration, emancipation, discrimination, regulation , determination...)



Brown vs Board of education

School today

Discover a work of fiction

Education for Afro americans

Extra websites




The Civil Rights movement

How did they fight protestants ?


Clich here

Extra websites

The Butler - Stop at 4mn

Fire hoses exposed at the Tate Modern in London

Watch the video for more explanation :




Martin Luther King

What you should know about him

The March on Washington

The speech

Civil Right act and Voting Right act

Extra websites

Picture and quote



Read the excerpt from King's speech « I have a dream » and ask yourself why this speech is so powerful (Think about the way the speech is made (pronouns, tenses, words, ...)


And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character […].

How his speech and actions led to the Civil Right act / Voting Right act

Read the text to find out about the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Lyndon Johnson Signs The Civil Rights Act of 1964

Having broken the filibuster, the Senate voted 73-27 in favor of the bill, and Johnson signed it into law on July 2, 1964. “It is an important gain, but I think we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come,” Johnson, a Democrat, purportedly told an aide later that day in a prediction that would largely come true. Did you know? President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with at least 75 pens, which he handed out to congressional supporters of the bill such as Hubert Humphrey and Everett Dirksen and to civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Roy Wilkins.

What Is the Civil Rights Act?

Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, segregation on the grounds of race, religion or national origin was banned at all places of public accommodation, including courthouses, parks, restaurants, theaters, sports arenas and hotels. No longer could Black people and other minorities be denied service simply based on the color of their skin. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act barred race, religious, national origin and gender discrimination by employers and labor unions, and created an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with the power to file lawsuits on behalf of aggrieved workers. Additionally, the act forbade the use of federal funds for any discriminatory program, authorized the Office of Education (now the Department of Education) to assist with school desegregation, gave extra clout to the Commission on Civil Rights and prohibited the unequal application of voting requirements.

Legacy of the Civil Rights Act

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. said that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was nothing less than a “second emancipation.” The Civil Rights Act was later expanded to bring disabled Americans, the elderly and women in collegiate athletics under its umbrella. It also paved the way for two major follow-up laws: the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited literacy tests and other discriminatory voting practices, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which banned discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of property. Though the struggle against racism would continue, legal segregation had been brought to its knees in the United States.

Consequences of the Voting Rights acts of 1964 :


« There comes a time when silence is bretrayal »





Afro american soldiers and the Vietnam war

Effects on the Civil Rights movement



Extra websites

Muhammad Ali

The Vietnam War and active U.S. involvement in the war began in 1954, though ongoing conflict in the region had stretched back several decades. In 1955, the strongly anti-communist politician Ngo Dinh Diem pushed Emperor Bao aside to become president of the Government of the Republic of Vietnam (GVN), often referred to during that era as South Vietnam.

With the Cold War intensifying worldwide, the United States hardened its policies against any allies of the Soviet Union, and by 1955 President Dwight Eisenhower had pledged his firm support to Diem and South Vietnam.

By 1962, the U.S. military presence in South Vietnam had reached some 9,000 troops, compared with fewer than 800 during the 1950s.

By November 1967, the number of American troops in Vietnam was approaching 500,000, and U.S. casualties had reached 15,058 killed and 109,527 wounded. As the war stretched on, some soldiers came to mistrust the government’s reasons for keeping them there, as well as Washington’s repeated claims that the war was being won.

Between July 1966 and December 1973, more than 503,000 U.S. military personnel deserted, and a robust anti-war movement among American forces spawned violent protests, killings and mass incarcerations of personnel stationed in Vietnam as well as within the United States.

Muhammad Ali – A conscientious objector

Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay, 1942-2016) was outspoken about many political issues, including his opposition to the Vietnam War.

Ali was drafted by the United States military in 1966 and called up for induction in 1967. He attended the induction but refused to answer to his name or take the oath. This led to Ali’s arrest and conviction, which in June 1971 was overturned by the US Supreme Court.

In March 1967, one month before his scheduled military induction, Muhammad Ali explained why he would not be enlisting to fight in Vietnam :

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?
No, I am not going ten thousand miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would put my prestige in jeopardy and could cause me to lose millions of dollars which should accrue to me as the champion.
But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is right here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality…
If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. But I either have to obey the laws of the land or the laws of Allah. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail. We’ve been in jail for four hundred years.”


Check out the article to see what African american thought about the drafts.




Afro americans in politics

Figures and numbers


Election speech

What he has accomplished

Extra websites

Black U.S. House members, 1965-2021 - https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/01/22/black-americans-have-made-gains-in-u-s-political-leadership-but-gaps-remain/


Number of U.S. representatives who are Black


Number of U.S. representatives who are Black

























































Facts checking


Archives from the US government after Obama's second term : https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/10/14/progress-african-american-community-during-obama-administration





Extra websites


George Floyd

What does it say about justice ?


As of March 2021, 165 Black people were killed by the police in the United States only in that year. This compares to 124 Hispanics, 11 Native Americans, and 314 White people. The rate of police shootings of Black Americans is much higher than any other ethnicity, at 37 per million people. This rate stands at 28 per million for Hispanics and 15 per million for Whites.


As of July 2021, the white population represented 76 % of the American population whereas the black population represented 13 %

Who is protesting

More than 40 percent of counties in the United States — at least 1,360 — have had a protest. Unlike with past Black Lives Matter protests, nearly 95 percent of counties that had a protest recently are majority white, and nearly three-quarters of the counties are more than 75 percent white.


On May 25, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after a convenience store employee called 911 and told the police that Mr. Floyd had bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived at the scene, Mr. Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life.

By combining videos from bystanders and security cameras, reviewing official documents and consulting experts, The New York Times reconstructed in detail the minutes leading to Mr. Floyd’s death. Our video shows officers taking a series of actions that violated the policies of the Minneapolis Police Department and turned fatal, leaving Mr. Floyd unable to breathe, even as he and onlookers called out for help.




Africo americans sportspeople

T.Smith - J. Carlos

Extra websites


The Williams' sisters

Lebron James

After winning the gold and bronze medals for the 200 meter dash at the Olympics in Mexico City, John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their gloved fists on the medal podium in a black power salute on the Olympic medal podium. At the time their gesture was seen as a very disrespectful airing of the country's dirty laundry on the world stage. Carlos and Smith were immediately suspended from the U.S. Olympic team and received death threats for years after returning home. Today Carlos and Smith are seen as Civil Rights heroes and were honored with a statue in 2005 at their alma mater, San Jose State University. Time sure changes a lot, huh?


Colin Kaepernick

During the 2016 NFL season, Colin Kaepernick, distraught by the history of mistreatment against Black Americans and minorities (particularly by law enforcement), decided to kneel in protest during the pregame singing of the national anthem. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color," Kaepernick said. Kaepernick, who started in the Super Bowl only a few years earlier, was soon out of the league. Fellow NFL players believed Kaepernick was blackballed for speaking out, but his outspokenness continues on today, and he laid the groundwork for future waves of athletic activism.


Serena Williams' lasting influence on young black athletes

Serena Williams' hopes of securing a calendar Grand Slam were ended in stunning fashion by Italy's Roberta Vinci in the US Open semi-finals.

But Williams and her sister Venus have already created a legacy by inspiring more African-American children - especially those from low-income areas - to play tennis. The sisters have championed a tennis centre in the Anacostia neighbourhood of Washington, DC, devoting time and money to it's development.

Tennis students taking lessons at the Venus and Serena Williams Tennis Arena at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center tell the BBC how the sisters have inspired them.


Arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, James is a force on and off the court when it comes to social justice. He frequently raises awareness about police brutality during games by wearing special equipment, speaks about injustice during interviews, and uplifts communities with his foundation .

During the 2014 ESPY Awards, James had this to say :

“What are we doing to create change? Let’s use this moment for all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence. And most importantly, go back to our communities and invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them. We all have to do better.”




Extra websites

Afro american celebrities : a different voice



Nikole Hanna-Jones


Beyonce talking about empowerment and education

Beyoncé's Netflix documentary Homecoming is much more than a film about the first black woman to headline the Coachella music festival.

It is a celebration of black American culture with education, specifically Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), serving as the foundation of her message.

In the film, Beyoncé describes how she always wanted to attend an HBCU, but Destiny's Child and the trials and tribulations of celebrity instead became her higher education.

"She did not attend an HBCU, but she has learned from and mimicked the culture that's present at HBCUs," said Dawn Williams, the Dean of Howard University's School of Education.

"[Beyoncé's] naming the film Homecoming is quite illustrative of what it feels like. I saw examples of what we experience here at homecoming. Homecoming is not just for alumni, or returning students. It is a community event. You'll find a multitude of many different kinds of people there."

Regardless of whether you are a celebrated artist like Beyoncé, or a fan who watched Homecoming on Netflix, you can attend an HBCU homecoming and likewise have the opportunity to receive an education from some of the African diaspora's greatest minds


An important role model for Afro americans - How does she impact

people's life ?

Oprah’s Golden Globes Speech Put the Spotlight on Injustice

It was Winfrey who stole the show as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.”

In a rousing speech, Winfrey — the first black woman to have received the award — addressed both racial and gender inequality.

“It is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this...award,” she said. “It is an honor.”

But she quickly turned the spotlight away from herself to draw attention to the achievements of other women in the room.

“Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have,” Winfrey said. “And I'm especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories that we tell, and this year we became the story.”

And though Winfrey has been a power player in the entertainment industry for decades now, she was mindful of the fact that women across industries are fighting uphill battles against sexual harassment and gender inequality.

“I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue,” she poignantly said. “They're the women whose names we'll never know.”


What does it take to be fully recognized ? What does it say about Afro americans in general ?
Despite winning two Tony Awards, an Oscar, a British Academy Film Award, Viola Davis' incredibly accomplished career is undermined. In a video from 2018, Davis is speaking at a Women of the World event and calls out the double standard in Hollywood when it comes to pay and respect for women of colour.

"I got the Oscar, I got the Emmy, I got the two Tonys, I've done Broadway, I've done off-Broadway, I've done TV, I've done film, I've done all of it," she tells the audience. "I have a career that's probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver. They all came out of Yale, they came out of Julliard, they came out of NYU. They had the same path as me, and yet I am nowhere near them, not as far as money, not as far as job opportunities, nowhere close to it."

"But I have to get on that phone and people say, 'You're a Black Meryl Streep...There is no one like you.' Okay, then if there's no one like me, you think I'm that, you pay me what I'm worth. You give me what I'm worth."


Nikole Hannah-Jones is the wildest dream fulfilled of the Black female journalists who wrote the truth of their times before her. This year, the New York Times Magazine reporter and six-time The Root 100 honoree earned crowning recognitions for her editorial brainchild, The 1619 Project, which recontextualized the Black American story starting with the arrival of the first enslaved Africans. She was awarded the ultra-prestigious 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, an achievement in and of itself, but the Pulitzer Center also became an official education partner for The 1619 Project and helped to dispatch an entire curriculum based on Hannah-Jones' brilliant work to more than 4,500 classrooms nationwide. This completely pissed off the current resident of the White House and his ineffectual right-wing chumps (see: Tom Cotton), but you know you're making good trouble when politicians are big mad. Hannah-Jones is changing how history is taught, and this year, after helping to reignite the discussion about reparations and racial justice for Black Americans, she's reframing what the future looks like, too.



Art : a powerful tool

About A.Gorman

Nina Simone


Extra websites

Film trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvqsQO-uxaE

Spike Lee is a subversive walking advertisement for both Spike Lee and his new film, BlacKkKlansman, out Aug. 10. It premiered in May at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Prix award, the second most prestigious prize of the event. Based on the early-1970s true story of Ron Stallworth, the first African-American detective to work for the Colorado Springs police department, the film centers on Stallworth (played by John David Washington) and a veteran Jewish cop (played by Adam Driver) as they find a unique, and risky, way to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan.

BlacKkKlansman is Lee’s most critically heralded and accessible effort in over a decade. The film represents another opportunity for one of society’s most distinctive voices to make a statement at a time when America’s politics on race and identity are at their most fractured in a generation. The film is also being released on the anniversary of a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and a counterprotest that resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, after a Nazi supporter drove a car into the protesters. Footage from Charlottesville serves as the film’s coda, a necessary gut punch both for those who internalized the film as another dark reminder of our country’s history and those who wrongfully spent two hours treating it as a buddy-cop comedy.

Complete article here : https://time.com/longform/blackkklansman-spike-lee/

Check out « Green book » and « Hidden figures ». Ask yourself why these films are made today


The name of this tune is Mississippi Goddam

And I mean every word of it

Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Can't you see it
Can't you feel it
It's all in the air
I can't stand the pressure much longer
Somebody say a prayer
Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

This is a show tune
But the show hasn't been written for it, yet

Hound dogs on my trail
School children sitting in jail

Black cat cross my path
I think every day's gonna be my last

Lord have mercy on this land of mine
We all gonna get it in due time
I don't belong here
I don't belong there
I've even stopped believing in prayer

Don't tell me
I tell you
Me and my people just about due
I've been there so I know
They keep on saying "Go slow!"
But that's just the trouble
"Do it slow"
Washing the windows
"Do it slow"
Picking the cotton
"Do it slow"
You're just plain rotten
"Do it slow"
You're too damn lazy
"Do it slow"
The thinking's crazy
"Do it slow"
Where am I going
What am I doing
I don't know
I don't know
Just try to do your very best
Stand up be counted with all the rest
For everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
I made you thought I was kiddin'
Picket lines
School boy cots
They try to say it's a communist plot
All I want is equality
For my sister my brother my people and me
Yes you lied to me all these years
You told me to wash and clean my ears
And talk real fine just like a lady
And you'd stop calling me Sister Sadie
Oh but this whole country is full of lies
You're all gonna die and die like flies
I don't trust you any more
You keep on saying "Go slow!"
"Go slow!"
But that's just the trouble
"Do it slow"
"Do it slow"
Mass participation
"Do it slow"
"Do it slow"
Do things gradually
"Do it slow"
But bring more tragedy
"Do it slow"
Why don't you see it
Why don't you feel it
I don't know
I don't know
You don't have to live next to me
Just give me my equality
Everybody knows about Mississippi
Everybody knows about Alabama
Everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
That's it!

A deadly tragedy galvanized Simone into activism

On Sunday, September 15, 1963, a bombing by white extremists at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killed four young Black girls attending Sunday school. Simone, preparing for an upcoming series of club dates, was heartbroken — and incensed. She later admitted that her first instinct was violence. “At first I tried to make myself a gun. I gathered some materials. I was going to take one of them out, and I didn’t care who it was,” she later said. But at the urging of her then-husband, she fueled her anger and grief into music. In under an hour, she wrote one of her most famous songs, “Mississippi Goddamn,” whose title was inspired, in part, by the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers in the state earlier that summer. The song’s upbeat tempo did little to temper the intensity of the song’s lyrics, which attacked the slow pace of racial justice in America, and the continued, centuries-long oppression of and violence against Black Americans. She would revisit and revise the song’s lyrics in the coming years to incorporate later incidents of racial injustice in cities across the country.

More about her here : https://www.biography.com/news/nina-simone-activism