Sankofa: African American music from spirituals to hip hop
Audience Size: Up to 1500
Length: 45 Min

In “SANKOFA: African American Music from Spirituals to Hip Hop” students will learn elements of Storytelling, Improvisation and Call and Response in American Music. A brilliant mix of TedTalk-style interactive lecture with an exciting live band, SANKOFA educates and entertains. Students will learn about the oral tradition through the West African storyteller/poet known as the Griot; explore coded language in Spirituals; join musicians on stage to discover improvisation in Jazz; learn call and response in Reggae, and party with their teachers to some classic Hip Hop.

Developed by Pierce Freelon, a college professor, hip hop artist, and father of two, the curriculum is entertaining and informative for all ages. The performance will be tailored to appropriately suit Elementary, Middle or High School audiences. We take careful steps to use tone, vocabulary and interactions that specifically relate to corresponding age groups. Sankofa has been consistently lauded as “the best assembly EVER” by students and faculty alike.

Schools who booked The Beast’s SANKOFA said this:

“The Beast is a truly engaging musical group which teaches African-American history in a fun, effective way. They are wonderful musicians and story-tellers”

“If you are interested in exposing your students to various music genres, in a fun and innovative way, invite The Beast to your school. Also, if you are looking for a way to expose your students to African-American history in an engaging and memorable way, invite The Beast. The Beast is extremely talented, professional, and kind.”

The Beast proudly donates 12% of its educational program fees to BlackSpace, a community center located in downtown Durham.