Tag Archive: Afr.Amer.

What was the Underground Railroad?

Learn about it and do a listening comprehension (video + gap filling exercise) :



Billie HolidayBillie Holiday

Strange Fruit is still a song for today (article from the Guardian)

article-Strange Fruit in PDF:

"Strange Fruit is still a song for today : Made famous by Billie Holiday, Abel Meeropol's lyrics offer a powerful plea for racial tolerance that is no less relevant today..."

autres liens :Strange Fruit

Billie sur Wikipedia

Here is a good slide show that I have found to complete our presentation of Billie Holiday:

N.B. re « Strange Fruit » : Abel Meeropol a.k.a. Lewis Allan (i.e. it’s the same person)

(remarque:   !attention faux ami : to sanction = to approve (diapo. n° 2) + le « Civil Rights Act » mettant fin à la ségrégation a été signé en 1964  

 il y a aussi quelques erreurs de langue dans le texte: ex.  (diapo. n°20) : voc. s’enorgueillir de : to pride oneself on doing something et non « preceded »)

and here is another good slide show and  analysis of the song plus a translation (in French) :


Have a look at these documents concerning this sequence :


pin-widely-worn-by-members-of-freedom-mvt-organizations This was the slogan of the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s.

( you can watch a video of the events. The song is by Nina Simone, a committed singer.)

*committed : engagé

To play the video : click here

Here is a timeline (chronologie) you can view to revise The Civil Rights Movement :

This video will remind you of the lesson too :



Martin Luther King’s speech with French subtitles

Martin Luther King in front of portrait of Gandhi

Listen to Martin Luther King’s famous speech, which he delivered in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington,  in front of a huge crowd*.             ( * = une foule immense)

Note that he reads his prepared speech at first and then when he launches into « I have a dream », he follows his inspiration. So one of the most famous speeches ever was largely improvised! Amazing, isn’t it?

I HAVE A DREAM : traduction des principaux passages

read & listen to I HAVE A DREAM

(cliquez sur grand écran pour ne pas voir les pubs…)

I hope you’ll enjoy it as it’s quite an experience…

(N.B. c’est le même document que celui dans la marge à gauche)




The problem we all live with (Norman Rockwell)

>>>consultez ce site pédagogique de BBC Scotland sur l’événement :




 > Consultez le site pédagogique de BBC Scotland sur le sujet :



Inaugural address

Read  and listen to  Pdt Obama’s speech at the same time: OBAMA’S ADDRESS

(you may  have to put up with an advertisement first)

 If you can’t face reading and listening to it all, here are 2o pictures ,courtesy of the BBC :20 PICTURES


3 generations: from Little Rock to Obama

 +  An interesting interview of 3 generations of African Americans. It might not be easy to understand everything… Oh well, you can try…    

from Little Rock to Obama

–     There is a previous post about Little Rock  >HERE<


from we shall overcome to we have overcome

vu dans la foule pendant le discours d'investiture de B. Obama

 Je n’ai pas pu résister! Déformation professionnelle oblige…

voici en contexte l’utilisation du PRESENT PERFECT qui pose toujours tant de problèmes aux francophones… 

en effet dans les années 60 le slogan des militants pour les droits civiques était :pin widely worn by members of freedom mvt organizations

 = « Nous vaincrons »

 >>> c’est chose faite maintenant >>> Present Perfect



On BBC News : several videos covering the event :

Obama’s VICTORY SPEECH with full text

Black Americans‘ reactions to the  election


 most frequently used words in the speech : 


 (click to enlarge)

The song for the campaign : « YES, WE CAN » by Will.i.am

MC yogi’s video clip to support Obama’s campaign :