4) Write 2-3 paragraphs analyzing the song’s meaning relative to the history of the 1960s that you have read about. Possible questions to answer include:
What do you think the audience would have been thinking when they listened to the song?
What about the song can you observe now (from a historical distance) that is different from the songwriter, performer, or audience at the time?
How is the idea of freedom and/or equality defined in the song?
This song by James Brown is a message towards youth to not dropout as the name of the song implies. James Brown is clearly making the statement that in order to get freedom in their society during the 1960s, education is required. Surprisingly or not surprisingly, education’s connection with freedom is still the same. The audience consisting of mostly African American youths I assume will most likely be motivated yet possibly even angered by this song because of the economic injustice towards African Americans. They might think that though an education is the best way to attain freedom in a still somewhat racial injustice country, it still puts them subpar to White Americans simply because of inequalities in jobs, education and housing available.
James Brown is obviously supporting the case for the African civil rights activists in his song though not directly. He is a key player in motivating the black youth community to push towards social equality.