We envision a future where people actively work to dismantle injustices and build a more peaceful, equitable world.

Carole Boston Weatherford: “Notes that echo history”

Intermediate & Middle School Activity

Download the free ebook The Sound That Jazz Makes (offered through Amazon) created by Jane Addams winning author Carole Boston Weatherford and Jane Addams winning illustrator Eric Velasquez.

Be sure to read the book several times, savoring the rhythm of the words, the scope of history, and the variety and power of the illustrations.

Learn More

Watch this video:

And learn how Carole Boston Weatherford knew herself as a poet beginning in first grade and how she chooses topics for her work.

You might also like to learn about illustrator Eric Velasquez and see more of his beautiful pictures:

Interview with Eric Velasquez  – created by Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Now Let’s Get to Next Steps!

Guiding questions for your reading, writing, thinking and acting:

  • These four lines are found on the last page of The Sound that Jazz Makes, 1)JAZZ is a downbeat born in our nation 2)chords of struggle and jubilation, 3)bursting forth from hearts set free 4)in notes that echo history.  Connect something important to each of the four lines  that you learned in reading this book and exploring the other resources. An example, 1)JAZZ is a downbeat born in our nation —for me downbeat has two meanings, both the down of the unspeakably terrible blues that came from slavery as well as the change of that fourth beat by all who are playing together. There are no right answers here, this is your chance to reflect on what was new to you, caught your attention, and seemed important. You are welcome to share your sentences or lines, as well as what you learned about jazz, history, and yourself from this activity in our comment section (comments will be approved & posted within 24 yours) or on social media #socialjusticelearnanddo
  •  The Sound that Jazz Makes is suggested for ages 4 to 10. How does it draw young children in? How does it convey some very serious and horrifically sad content especially about slavery to young children? What did you understand about slavery when you were between 4 and 10? How did you learn what you understood? How did what you understood change? What do you think is important for younger kids to know about our history? How should these things be shared with kids? Does The Sound that Jazz Makes do a good job? If there is someone younger in your family, read them this book and talk with them about their questions as you go. What do you notice about their response to the story? If there isn’t anyone younger, talk with an adult in your family about how they learned about slavery as a young person, read parts of the book with them and explain the connection to jazz. What did you learn from this dialoge with a younger or older family member? How does it change the way you will talk about our history going forward? You are invited to share your insights in our comment section below (comments will be approved & posted within 24 yours) or on social media #socialjusticelearnanddo.

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Jane Addams Peace Association