Happy Kwanzaa

Posted by Speakeasy News > Sunday 18 December 2022 > Celebrate

In the U.S.A., the holiday season starts with Thanksgiving at the end of November and encompasses Christmas and New Year. For over 50 years, African Americans have had another holiday to celebrate: Kwanzaa, from 26 December to 1 January. The celebration was conceived by a civil-rights activist and doctoral student in African studies at the … Continue reading “Happy Kwanzaa”

Black Legends

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 30 November 2022 > What's On

Black Legends is a musical comedy that traces more than a century of African American music along with landmarks in the civil-rights movement and Black American history. It’s on at Bobino theatre in Paris till 23 March and could make a great class outing. The musical doesn’t have a classic narrative structure, it’s a series … Continue reading “Black Legends”

Josephine Baker: An Incredible Life

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 26 November 2021 > Ready to Use

Our bioboxes are short “Who Am I?” quizzes to help introduce pupils to famous figures in the English-speaking world.  This one is on Josephine Baker as she enters the French Panthéon. For more information on Baker, see our article. You can download the biobox below to use it offline with your pupils.  

Josephine Baker Enters the Panthéon

Posted by Speakeasy News > Thursday 18 November 2021 > Celebrate

On 30 November, Josephine Baker will become the sixth woman, and the first black woman, to enter France’s Panthéon, where the country honours its greatest heroes. The Franco-American dancer and singer was an active member of the Resistance in WWII and civil-rights activist in the U.S. Freda Josephine McDonald was born into poverty in St … Continue reading “Josephine Baker Enters the Panthéon”

Jane Campion Honoured at Lyon’s Lumière Festival

Posted by Speakeasy News > Tuesday 05 October 2021 > What's On

The Lumière Festival in Lyon from 9 to 15 October has a great programme of films in various languages including English. And it will be giving the prestigious Prix Lumière to New Zealand director Jane Campion, as well as showing a retrospective of her films. Campion is not a prolific filmmaker, but her films are … Continue reading “Jane Campion Honoured at Lyon’s Lumière Festival”

Respect: Aretha Franklin Biopic

Posted by Speakeasy News > Monday 23 August 2021 > Ready to Use

A new biopic of soul diva Aretha Franklin takes its title from one of her most famous songs, “Respect”. This resource will introduce pupils first to the song, which became an anthem for the women’s movement and the civil-rights movement. Then they can discover the biopic. Jennifer Hudson was chosen by Franklin herself before her … Continue reading “Respect: Aretha Franklin Biopic”

“Strange Fruit”: a Searing Protest Song

Posted by Speakeasy News > Tuesday 25 May 2021 > Celebrate

Jazz singer Billie Holiday’s 1939 recording of “Strange Fruit” has become one of the most potent protest songs in U.S. history. Its images of lynched African Americans accompanied the civil-rights movement but still evoke uncomfortable truths today. The song was written by a Jewish Communist high-school teacher, Abel Meeropol. It was originally a poem, written … Continue reading ““Strange Fruit”: a Searing Protest Song”

Billie Holiday: Blues and Civil Rights

Posted by Speakeasy News > Thursday 20 May 2021 > What's On

A new biopic of Billie Holiday alleges the blues singer was persecuted by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics over her support for the civil rights movement and her insistence on singing the powerful anti-lynching anthem “Strange Fruit.” Jazz singer Andra Day won a Best Actress Golden Globe for her portrayal of Holiday. The United States … Continue reading “Billie Holiday: Blues and Civil Rights”

Shine Bright AMC File 5 Black Lives Matter

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 30 April 2021 >

In our series of author videos presenting different chapters of Shine Bright AMC, here is File 5 Black Lives Matter, presented by its authors Lynda Itouchène and Laura Pires. This file fits into the Première theme Représentations Axe 1 Faire entendre sa voix : représentation et participation.   You can browse this file and all the … Continue reading “Shine Bright AMC File 5 Black Lives Matter”

Amazing Grace

Posted by Speakeasy News > Monday 08 July 2019 > What's On

Forty-six years after it was filmed, an extraordinary documentary has been released of Aretha Franklin recording her most popular album, and the biggest selling gospel album of all time. The “Queen of Soul” was at the height of her career in 1972, having recorded 11 consecutive Number 1 singles in the pop and R&B charts. … Continue reading “Amazing Grace”