Stevie Wonder's "Songs In The Key Of Life" double album epitomizes Black History Month because there are so many beautiful and meaningful songs that resonate with the black community. I remember when Donald Trump spoke of social reformer and abolitionist Frederick Douglass in the present tense, as if he were alive. I was thinking that Trump didn't have the decency to do his research on Douglass and that was pretty much a slap in the face to many blacks, myself included. If Trump really needed a black history lesson, he was better off listening to "Black Man", one of the many powerful songs on the album.
As a young girl, this album was played in every black household I went to. My oldest sister brought it into our home and a music teacher at a grammar school I attended brought it for us to listen to. The most popular songs on the album was "Isn't She Lovely?', "I Wish", and "Sir Duke." I personally loved "Pastime Paradise", "As", and "Knocks Me Off My Feet." His other songs such as "Village Ghetto Land" and "Love's In Need Of Love Today" tugs at your heart strings especially if you lived in the 'hood because you can definitely relate.
This album came out in 1976 and do you want to know the funniest (not ha-ha funny) thing? I still remember all the songs and the lyrics to them. There are not too many albums that has this effect--well, maybe one which is the "Purple Rain" soundtrack by Prince. I believe Prince was so great because he publicly gave homage to Stevie that "Songs In The Key Of Life" inspired him a great deal. I sort of see that in the way that Prince stretched or elongated his songs like Stevie.
There are two weeks left in Black History Month. Teachers--if you want to give your students an assignment, have them listen to this album and report what song or songs meant the most to them. I'm sure it will bring out a lot of creativity they thought they never had. Stevie's songs has that affect on you.
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Filed under: Health and Wellness