In this lesson, students will be introduced to the song “Soul Man,” which was written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter and originally performed and popularized by Sam & Dave. The upbeat melody and lyrics may be familiar to many students, but they may not know that the song was inspired by a tragic moment in US history: the Detroit Riots of 1967. At a time when the American media often linked the black urban working class to crime and violence, Hayes and Porter celebrated a proud, hard working “Soul Man.”
- What sorts of responses can an individual have to injustice? Can making or listening to music be one of these responses? How so?
- Why was it important for Hayes and Porter to define a “soul man” or a “soul brother” in a positive way?