Talk about redemption.

Ask 100 parents how they approach talking about bad things in the world, and you’ll get 100 different opinions. But this Mama thinks it’s important to discuss challenging subjects.  It’s important to talk about slavery. It’s important to discuss oppression and discrimination in age appropriate ways. One way to start that conversation is through music.

Tot Rocker: Redemption Song by Bob Marley (sleepy baby)

Rolling Stone places Redemption Song at #66 of the top 500 songs of all time, behind No woman, no cry at #37. (Incidently, Hotel California is at #49. Ruh- Roh.)

Redemption Song is credited to Bob Marley and Edwin Hawkins, but the iconic lines “emancipate yourself from mental slavery… none but ourselves can free our minds” are attributed to civil rights activist Marcus Garvey in 1937. There have been several covers of Redemption Song lately (you probably have to try really hard to make a bad version of this song), but my favorite cover is by Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer.

Other Tot Rockers by Bob Marley: I think this is a gimme. Like The Beatles, Bob Marley has so many very recognizable songs and so many of them  translate easily into a lullaby that potentially every child has heard Three little birds and No woman, no cry by kindergarten. But just in case they haven’t, there you go.

Similar Tot Rockers: Police and Thieves by Junior Murvin (sleepy baby), Black boys on mopeds by Sinead O’Connor (sleepy baby).

Stuff to think about: 

New Republic: Cities need to understand what riots over police brutality are saying. 

New York Times: To talk Baltimore with kids, focus on the positive.

Get to know Bob Marley

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