Article

Critical Hip Hop Pedagogy as a Form of Liberatory Praxis

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Abstract

This article uses Paulo Freire's problem-posing method, youth participatory action research, and case study methodology to introduce an alternative instructional strategy called Critical Hip Hop Pedagogy (CHHP). This approach attempts to address deep-rooted ideologies to social inequities by creating a space in teacher education courses for prospective teachers to re-examine their knowledge of hip hop as it intersects with race, class, gender, and sexual orientation; while analyzing and theorizing to what extent hip hop can be used as a tool for social justice in teacher education and beyond. Borrowing and extending the work of critical race theorists, particularly, Solórzano & Delgado Bernal, CHHP utilizes the following five elements to form its basic core: “1) The centrality of race and racism and their intersectionality with other forms of oppression; 2) Challenging traditional paradigms, texts, and theories used to explain the experiences of students of color; 3) The centrality of experiential knowledge of students of color; 4) The commitment to social justice; and finally 5) A transdisciplinary approach” (Solórzano & Delgado Bernal, 200147. Solórzano , D. G. and Delgado Bernal , D. 2001 . Examining transformational resistance through a critical race and LatCrit theory framework: Chicana and Chicano students in an urban context . Urban Education , 36 ( 3 ) : 308 – 342 . [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]View all references, p. 312–315).

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... Hip-Hop's ability to create epistemic assessments of lived realities propels those fellowshipping within its tenets to not only take ownership of the geo-and body-politics of knowledge production but to its transmission. When contextualized within a West African context, we see Hip-Hop as a challenge to traditional schooling (Akom 2009, Jenkins 2013. Hip-Hop thus provides a door, a motive, and a purposeful tool to transform, challenge, and express for those who have chosen to learn outside the traditional course. ...
... If Hip-Hop speaks on the socio-political aspects of marginalized people, then critical pedagogy from a Freirean perspective, builds on the notion of students viewing education as a practice of freedom, a place to build critical consciousness and social mobilitya place 'where we learn to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions, and to take action against the oppressive elements of reality' (Akom 2009, p. 56). Akom (2009) reorients and furthers the narrative on Hip-Hop pedagogy in academia utilizing Freire's problem-posing method to carry a community-based case study through youth participatory action research to promote and dissect the meaning, purpose, and function of Hip-Hop. Freire's problem-solving methodology uses a five-step approach to challenge the dominant status quo. ...
... For young people who had grown disillusioned with politicians, Hip-Hop was the antidote. Hip-Hop culture not only speaks to the lived realities of its adherents but encourages action towards self-determination (KRS-One 1989, Akom 2009, Seidel 2011. During our discussions, Fadel, along with the other founding members of YEM, much like Césaire and KRS-One, spoke of self-awareness and promoted pan-African unity. ...
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This study situates transnégritude within discussions that consider the ways in which young people in Senegal, with a shared transcolonial narrative, bound through an ‘imagined community,’ negotiate their space, their identities, and their ways of knowing through a Hip-Hop pedagogy. Our analysis is informed by Mignolo’s epistemic disobedience and the geo- and body-politics that challenge neo-colonial epistemologies. The global scope of Hip-Hop culture and its manifestations in West Africa nuances the ways in which young people view education and its impact on their social identity. A transnégritude perspective aptly ‘straddles’ black identity, agency, and deconstructionism and allows for a fluid navigation of Hip-Hop pedagogy. Through a Hip-Hop pedagogy, young people in Senegal work towards social transformation vis-a-vis informal education as a response to imperialism. In so doing, this study intends to contribute to qualitative inquiries on the connections between Hip-Hop, identity formation, and the ‘fluidity and location of engagement’ in Hip-Hop culture. The goal is to challenge the formal schooling context and interrogate youth identity and engagement vis-a-vis social transformation.
... In the Individual and Collective Empowerment (ICE) framework, Travis (2013) argues that rap music contains themes that can promote youth's collective empowerment (cultural pride and behaviors to improve conditions in their communities). Hence, educators and scholars have developed pedagogies and interventions that use hip-hop music to promote youth's cultural knowledge, raise their awareness about racism, and teach them strategies for social justice (Akom, 2009;Graves et al., 2020;Prier & Beachum, 2008;Rashid, 2016;Stovall, 2006). Other than interventions, there are few empirical investigations of the empowering impact of hip-hop. ...
... Empowering perceptions were not a significant moderator between rap music media and SPD. Hip hop interventions often use empowering content to facilitate youth's critical analysis and agency (e.g., Akom, 2009;Rashid, 2016;Stovall, 2006). However, youth often need mentorship and supportive opportunities to engage in action (Watts & Flanagan, 2007). ...
... Although this study's findings establish associations between hip-hop culture and youth's SPD, given the cross-sectional design, the findings do not provide clarity on the directionality of association. In line with hip-hop pedagogical theories (Akom, 2009;Prier & Beachum, 2008;Stovall, 2006) and ICE Framework (Travis, 2013), we hypothesized that hip-hop culture promotes youth's SPD. However, youth with a more advanced SPD may also be more likely to seek out hip-hop media with sociopolitical themes that resonate with their identities. ...
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This study examined associations between Black youth’s engagement with hip-hop culture and their sociopolitical development (SPD) (e.g., critical social analysis, critical agency, and anti-racist activism). Participants included 499 Black adolescents recruited from across the United States through an online survey panel. Findings from regression analysis revealed the differential effects of rap media (music and music videos) and hip-hop media (e.g., blogs, video shows, radio) on youth’s SPD. Black youth who consumed more hip-hop media and who interacted with artists on social media had more agency to address racism and reported engaging in more racial-justice activism. The frequency of youth’s rap media usage was not consistently related to youth’s SPD. However, youth’s perceptions of rap (e.g., rap is empowering or misogynistic) were found to be directly associated with indicators of SPD. These findings provide insight into the potential influence of hip-hop culture beyond music on youth’s racial-justice beliefs and actions.
... En este mismo sentido, a menudo músicas urbanas como el rap son tachadas de anti intelectualistas (Akom, 2009)youth participatory action research, and case study methodology to introduce an alternative instructional strategy called Critical Hip Hop Pedagogy (CHHP. Para realizar esta crítica se basan en las temáticas que se abordan mediante estos estilos musicales y en el lenguaje que se utiliza para hacerlo. ...
... Todas estas potencialidades ya son apreciadas por algunas/os profesionales que trabajan con los sectores más vulnerabilizados de la sociedad creando incluso una corriente llamada Critical Hip Hop Pedagogy (CHHP) (Akom, 2009). Esta corriente está muy relacionada con la Pedagogía del oprimido (Freire, 2011) y con corrientes artísticas como el teatro del oprimido (Boal, 2013). ...
... Es una corriente pedagógica que parte del hip-hop como una herramienta con potencial liberador. Para ello se basa en los principios de agencia, equidad y autodeterminación de las personas buscando que mediante el arte puedan ejercer estos derechos y hacer hincapié en la búsqueda de la justicia social (Akom, 2009). ...
Conference Paper
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This study situates contemporary Arab family within the universal debate about the shift from the patriarchal male breadwinner model towards the gender equity model. I argue that in the Arab society the gender equity model has gained noteworthy progress in education and work institutions, but it is far from being observable in the family institution. In the post-colonial Arab world, female participation in education and the labor force has significantly increased. In contrast, the institution of family is experiencing a much slower change. More Arab women have found their way into the public sphere of education, work, and even politics. It is yet to be seen if Arab men will take part in the private sphere of housework and childbearing. The contribution of this study is to reveal the extent to which patriarchy still exists in today’s Arab family. I analyze data drawn from a survey among eighty families from United Arab Emirates. Findings indicate continuous tendency towards heavy reliance on women for most family chores and responsibilities. Men’s share in housework is very limited. Arab patriarchy is taking a different practice. One more result which confirms the persistence of patriarchy is found when female students replied to questions about their fathers’ perception of gender. I conclude with suggestions for future research in this area. Key words: family roles, house chores and responsibilities, gender equity, Emirati family
... Hays (2020 also calls for humility development, where SC students grapple with the role culture places in their lives and the lives of their clients. While there is certainly evidence of the use of Hip Hop approaches in direct work with young people, studies exploring Hip Hop pedagogy with pre-service teachers are most prominent (Akom, 2009;Rose, 2018), communicating a need to explore Hip Hop coursework across school counseling graduate programs. ...
... Given the benefits of Hip Hop small-group facilitation during graduate preparation, SC educators are encouraged to preemptively form partnerships with schools/site-supervisors that will allow internships to facilitate Hip Hop groups with ease. The current study builds on prior literature (Akom, 2009;Rose, 2018) to mark the first attempt, albeit with a small sample, to assess the use of Hip Hop based coursework on pre-service SCs MC development. The results are encouraging and, ultimately, should push counselor educators to continue exploring the utility of HHSWT in counselor education research and practice. ...
Article
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This mixed-methods single-subject design study explored the impact of Hip Hop based counselor education coursework on school counseling master’s student’s multicultural competence development. In this study, students were trained in using a Hip Hop mixtape-making model for group work, and then facilitated small-groups during their internships. Analysis of repeated survey measures and two focus groups detail the impact of this novel training program on the participants’ development and offer implications for research and practice.
... As a culture, Hip-Hop is a genre that reflects the social and political plight of communities that are disenfranchised and underrepresented. Studies in using Hip-Hop education have focused on the creation of curricular tools that assist in making cultural connections to content for students (Akom, 2009;Hill & Petchauer, 2013;Rodríguez, 2009;Seiler, 2013). In extending the work, Critical Hip-Hop pedagogies (CHHP) are transformative in nature as they enable teachers to help learners challenge dominant and essentializing views of the stories of communities of color. ...
... In extending the work, Critical Hip-Hop pedagogies (CHHP) are transformative in nature as they enable teachers to help learners challenge dominant and essentializing views of the stories of communities of color. Akom (2009) defines Critical Hip-Hop pedagogies (CHHP) differs compared to Hip-Hop education to includes a focus of social justice to empower student to use their knowledge to address race, racisms, and other intersectional forms of oppressions. ...
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This article explores how educators can contribute to the development of STEM identity in historically marginalized groups by using critical frameworks and pedagogies like Funds of Knowledge and Critical Hip-Hop Pedagogy as a curricular tool to counter traditional teaching practices. The authors amplify the importance of cultural spaces that support educators in examining aspects of power, access, and cultural awareness in STEM classrooms to increase student participation and acquisition of STEM knowledge. This article provides a guided activity named “A tale of two citiez” as an example of how educators can act towards (re)conceptualizing and (re)imagining STEM classrooms.
... The founders used Black popular culture-especially hip-hop-to engender reflection and discussion about topics. Hip-hop culture, birthed from the need for Black and Latinx youth to self-express the raw and nuanced aspects of their everyday lives, has been used as both a therapeutic and instructional tool for marginalized youth within school and community spaces (Akom, 2009;Baszile, 2009;Hadley & Yancy, 2012). Notably, BTS' deep investment in counter-hegemonic discourse through the foregrounding of Blackness and the nurturing of participant agency speaks to its alignment with critical hip-hop pedagogy, which encourages youth to interrogate oppressive conditions as a means to restore community (Akom, 2009). ...
... Hip-hop culture, birthed from the need for Black and Latinx youth to self-express the raw and nuanced aspects of their everyday lives, has been used as both a therapeutic and instructional tool for marginalized youth within school and community spaces (Akom, 2009;Baszile, 2009;Hadley & Yancy, 2012). Notably, BTS' deep investment in counter-hegemonic discourse through the foregrounding of Blackness and the nurturing of participant agency speaks to its alignment with critical hip-hop pedagogy, which encourages youth to interrogate oppressive conditions as a means to restore community (Akom, 2009). Similarly, the members go through a rites of passage experience designed to provide information about the trials and triumphs of the Black experience in America. ...
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Background/Context Though Black Americans have long suffered under racial tyranny, they have made valiant efforts to subvert policies and practices that encroach on their humanity. Nevertheless, systemic racism has been virtually unyielding—creating both racial hierarchies and disparities in access to resources and wellness. Programs designed to address the condition of Black people, particularly Black youth, often employ deficit or dysfunctional logic, thereby ignoring the sociohistorical context in which Black youth navigate. Furthermore, not enough attention is given to the ways that culturally centered approaches ignite critical consciousness among Black youth in ways that are aligned with the tradition of the Black American abolitionist mindset. Purpose We build on the discourse on community-based youth programs and critical consciousness development by using frameworks that elevate race and culture in analyzing how Black youth make sense of their racialized experiences. Additionally, our explication challenges the overriding deficit focus of Black youth experiences within and outside school contexts by providing a nuanced view of Black youth agency. Research Design With critical race theory as the epistemic foundation, this study sought to foreground counternarratives among youth participants of a culturally centered, community-based program. Thus, we used semistructured interviews as our primary data source. Using a three-stage analytical process, we sought to understand if and how critical consciousness manifests within this youth community. Conclusions/Recommendations The study demonstrates the value of foregrounding African American culture and history to fortify the values of collectivism, self-determination, purpose, responsibility, empowerment, creativity, and faith among Black youth. The authors propose that educators collaborate with community-based Black culture and youth development experts to support dialogical, student-centered spaces that impart culturally centered knowledge about Black Americans. Furthermore, the authors advocate for professional development in asset-based pedagogies as a means to enhance belongingness among Black students.
... Adding to this understanding of what constitutes a creative pedagogue, Booth names collaboration with classroom teachers as supportive of the goals of teaching artists broadly (p. 9, Chapter 1). Considering the notion that Hip Hop-based educators bring a social justice lens with them into educational contexts (Akom, 2009), and as Baldwin (1962) says, that "the precise role of the artist … is to make the world a more human dwelling place," the creative pedagogue is also someone who engages in their practice in order to disrupt and dismantle systemic forms of violence such as racism, sexism, classism, ableism, and the like (p. 1). ...
... In so doing, HSRA makes HipHop, a culture regularly identified and stigmatized for its proximity to Black culture, into an asset, a symbol of inclusion, and a reminder of the need to maintain a focus on social justice in education (Seidel, 2011). Due to the stigmas surrounding HipHop culture and the necessity for HHBE to be rooted in social justice (Akom, 2009;Alim & Paris, 2017;Emdin & Lee, 2013;Hill & Petchauer, 2013;Ibrahim, 2004;Ladson Billings, 2017;Love, 2015;Rodriguez, 2009;Wong & Pena, 2017), this paper also incorporates the ways high schools can incorporate studentrun record labels via HHBE for the reengagement of outofschool youth in social justice oriented ways. ...
Article
The author examines a federally funded internship program he organized while serving as the director of the High School for Recording Arts Los Angeles program. The school paid students to operate their own record label. Under the American Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, approved organizations provide paid, for-credit internships to young people who meet the definition of opportunity youth. Through this partnership, students learned real-world skills, gained hands-on experience, and built their resumes. The author experienced a shift in his professional praxis from school leader to creative pedagogue. During the internship, the school experienced increased student attendance and enrolment, suggesting the paid internship resulted in increased opportunities for student learning. The author covers similar opportunities across the US and Canada.
... For many, hip-hop is a space where critiques about the limitations of compulsory education for Black children are invited, encouraged, and supported (Akom, 2009;Ball, 2011;Ladson-Billings, 2013). One salient theme within this body of literature has been how schools, as publicly notarized social institutions, exacerbate social stratification and reproduce social hierarchies and the existing social order in ways that reflect the psychosocial, sociopolitical, economic interests of Whites (Dumas, 2016;Shakur, 1988). ...
... One salient theme within this body of literature has been how schools, as publicly notarized social institutions, exacerbate social stratification and reproduce social hierarchies and the existing social order in ways that reflect the psychosocial, sociopolitical, economic interests of Whites (Dumas, 2016;Shakur, 1988). Drawing inspiration from a vast array of disciplines and theoretical orientations-including Black studies (Lipsitz, 1994;Rabaka, 2013Rabaka, , 2015, Black feminist thought (Collins, 2002;Love, 2012;Morgan, 2000), critical race theory (Cummings, 2010), critical pedagogy (Freire, 1985(Freire, , 1996, critical literacy studies (Duncan-Andrade & Morrell, 2000Morrell, , 2005, critical media pedagogy (Morrell, 2002), critical consciousness, and social justice youth development (Akom, 2009;Watts et al., 2002)-critical hip-hop pedagogy invites students to use creative linguistic (e.g., spoken word, reciting lyrics, debating) and kinesthetic (e.g., dancing) modes of communication as counterhegemonic techniques for resisting indoctrination and creating more meaningful and culturally affirming ways of knowing and existing in the world. Another important contribution critical hip-hop pedagogy makes to the educational discourse is how it seeks to recreate the traditional academic canon to make educators more effective as they work with Black youth on matters of academic success (Hill, 2009) and youth justice development (Ginwright, 2010(Ginwright, , 2011, areas that align perfectly with the three hallmark developmental domains critical to the field (academic, social/emotional, and career development; ASCA, 2019). ...
Article
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In this article, I outline an approach for critical hip-hop school counseling (CHHSC) for novice and tenured school counselors to use when working with Black boys. Various facets of hip-hop culture (e.g., music, hip-hop scholarship) can sharpen Black boys’ conscientização ( Freire, 1996 ) and help them discern how interconnected social institutions (e.g., political systems, traditional schools) are grounded in anti-Black discourses and practices that endanger Black life (Baldwin, 1963; Dumas, 2016). The article begins with an operational definition of hip-hop culture. From there, I connect dissident ideas within hip-hop culture to the ways social justice has been operationalized in education and counseling, school counseling in particular. I conclude with suggestions and resources school counselors can research and integrate when using this approach with Black boys in middle and secondary school settings (Grades 6–12).
... As a form of participatory storytelling, rap pedagogy uses music, ritual, performance, and counter-storytelling in ways that shape identity, build community, and can transform societal beliefs and norms (Kuttner, 2016). Rap music, as counter storytelling, is a way to develop sociopolitical consciousness in students, and provides space for discussing topics of social justice and community reform (Akom, 2009). ...
... Hip hop and rap music (and music videos) are forms of media that historically have been utilized for social, cultural, and political critique (Love, 2019). In particular, we see the creation of rap music as a form of media production and counter-storytelling, as a way to develop sociopolitical consciousness in students and challenge the media injustices outlined in our framework (Akom, 2009). Unlike traditional legacy media sources, the target audience for hip hop is not white middle class people, but is for marginalized communities. ...
... This includes ideological perceptions of people both within and outside their own culture, including social class. Although there has been a great deal of work in the literacy field related to race (Akom, 2009;Brayboy, 2005;Thomas, 2015) and gender (Alvermann, 2009;Connors, 2016;Simmons, 2012), there has been little that specifically focuses on social class and literacy (Finn, 2009;Jones, 2013;Payne-Bourcy & Chandler-Olcott, 2003;Thein, Guise, & Sloan, 2012). This may be in part because social class is less visible and more difficult to define than other cultural classifications (Thein et al., 2012). ...
... For example, they draw on barber shop pedagogy, hip-hop pedagogy and even more recently, the pedagogy of Ferguson. 26,27,28 Growing movements in my own field of peace and conflict resolution are also beginning to examine and recognize "everyday" peacebuilding, referring to local people who work with their own definitions, models, approaches and strategies for peace. 29,30 Many of these educators get no recognition for their efforts and might not fit preconceived images of teachers or change-makers. ...
... Although limited in school counseling, YPAR has emerged as a group counseling process to support youth in emotionally processing and challenging injustices impacting their lives (Edirmanasinghe, 2020) and in advocacy skill development (Langhout et al., 2014). Scholars have suggested that the orientation of hip-hop's cultural practices to social justice makes it consistent with the principles of YPAR (i.e., agency, equity, self-determination; Akom, 2009). ...
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In this New York City, New York-based study, we made use of a Critical Cycle of Mixtape Creation (CCMC) intervention to examine a Bangladeshi high school student’s understanding of justice, and the impact of injustice on his well-being, through his creation of and reflection on original hip-hop song lyrics. The student participated in the CCMC intervention amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing Black Lives Movement, and crucially the white supremacist insurrection on January 6, 2021. Findings indicate that the CCMC enabled the student to process systemic racism and injustices with peers on his own terms and to further develop a knowledge of self. This study offers practical insights for school counselors to use hip-hop interventions with youth to collectively process the world around them.
... Hip-hop has long been employed as a pedagogical tool, finding applications in classrooms and youth cultural centers where groups of young people write their own songs, record, and perform in break-dance competitions in the U.S. (see Akom, 2009;Hill, 2009;Low, 2011;Peoples, 2008;Rodriquez, 2006;Rose, 1994;Williams, 2009) and in European contexts (for discussions of the German context, see Soysal, 2004;Stehle, 2012;Zambon & Uca, 2016 and hip-hop artists such as Samy Deluxe, Lady Bitch Ray, Brothers Keepers, or Sokee). The main challenge is to avoid exploiting popular music and culture in the classroom to appear "cool" or to boost attendance or enrollment numbers; such pedagogical appropriation "de-legitimizes Hip Hop itself as an important cultural and artistic form and promotes superficial understandings of cultural practices" (Buffington & Day, 2018, p. 97). ...
Article
This article examines hip‐hop as a vehicle for teaching social justice in college‐level media and cultural studies courses taught in English or German through engagement with Black American rapper Joyner Lucas's “I'm Not Racist” (2017) and Turkish‐German rapper Eko Fresh's “Aber” (2018). Drawing on hiphop's status as an art form grounded in activism, the authors propose that hip‐hop offers productive avenues to learn critical media analysis in a comparative framework and develop dialogic practices that transcend the classroom space. While both tracks suggest possibilities for overcoming political differences through their staging of dialogues between opposed parties, the social, linguistic, national, and historical contexts in which each artist operates and their different approaches to these dialogues lead to two thematically and formally similar yet culturally specific tracks. The included teaching materials in this article aim to lead learners to critically examine the various forms of dialogue as they function within their individual contexts and beyond: the staged dialogue of the music videos; the critical dialogue between the videos and their audiences in the process of reception; and the transnational dialogue occurring between the artists' works. These pedagogical approaches demonstrate how hip‐hop texts and contexts provide opportunities to analyze key topics such as discrimination based on race, nationality, and religion within a social justice‐oriented framework.
... In a co-constructed third story, we recapture our recollections of the doctoral seminar based on personal notes and conversations. We shape our argument around a belief that far too often, and in contrast with asset pedagogies (Akom, 2009), ETL can sustain structural inequities within nations and communities. Teacher subjectivity research (Daniels & Varghese, 2020) makes clear that when ELT is positioned as generic, it fails to recognize the influence of whiteness and ignores the need for context sensitivity in language education. ...
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Race applied to human beings is a political division: it is a system of governing people that classifies them into a social hierarchy based on invented biological demarcations' (Roberts, 2011, p. x). Foregrounding our racialized histories, we show how our lives intersect in a doctoral seminar in Thailand. Combining traditional academic structures and collaborative autoethnography, we describe the context and share our stories. Using intersectionality and raciolinguistics as theoretical lenses, we argue that in Thailand, and throughout Asia, culture/ethnicity and class are often proxies for race or color, and as a result English language teaching (ELT) reflects institutions that fail to challenge the hegemonies of whiteness, Europeanism and Americanism, and English. To contextualize ELT and our role in it, we overview Thailand's racialized/colorized past and present, linking this to globalization and thirst for English. Our stories provide a framework for discussing our racialized selves and let us get to the culture of race in Thailand and ELT. What emerges is our advocacy for using critical pedagogies in ELT that reflects the contextual realities of teachers' and students', their ethno-racial and socio-cultural identities, and as well, their socio-historic lives. (188 words) ARTICLE HISTORY
... Hip hop education derives from critical thinking theories (Freire) [4], culturally sustaining pedagogies (Alim & Django) [8] and transgressive embodied educational practices (hooks) [5]. All these concepts and texts are rooted in critical race theory and developed in response to deficit thinking theories in education [1]. Deficit thinking is based on the idea that minority students are less academically capable due to their socio-cultural and socio-economic backgrounds [2], [10]. ...
Conference Paper
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Western education can sometimes clash with who we are, what we know, and how we move. By always expecting students to sit quietly and face their teacher at the front of the classroom, the school system detaches those students' bodies from their cultural identities thus enacting the Cartesian mind and body split. Such a split has become even more obvious during the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic and classes going online. A focus on embodiment would help students and teachers connect with their cultures and diverse communities and, therefore, empower them. In this presentation, I challenge the cultural disconnection and disembodiment found in K-12 and higher education classrooms in the U.S. I use hip hop and movement in the classroom and argue that moving critically helps teachers and students engage in culturally sustaining pedagogies and empowers them. I examine my concept of critical moving and reflect on my embodied hip hop pedagogies-based curriculum taught in an underserved region of Southern California. My research advocates for more embodied and culturally relevant pedagogies for the urban youth by implementing curricular activities that juxtapose social-justice, critical thinking, and performance. I contributed to the development of a unique curriculum and pedagogy, which are based on the five elements of hip hop (DJing, Emceeing, Breakdancing, Graffiti Writing, and Knowledge) and Universal Learning Design, and therefore speaks to diverse learners. I have developed and taught culturally inclusive curricula and courses based on embodied hip hop pedagogies and the theories of Paolo Freire, bell hooks, and other educational theorists who have promoted the ideals of equality and inclusion through their work.
... Since the early 1970s, scholars have seen hip-hop as one of the most influential artistic and cultural channels for youth to read, analyze, and act upon the sociopolitical world (Chang, 2005;Freire, 1970;Stovall, 2006). For us, hip-hop foregrounds poetic functions of knowledge in rap lyrics and freestyle verses, supporting our participants in sharing their insights on social issues that may play against normative discourses about race, class and equity (Akom, 2009;Love, 2016). It is a language, a voice, a unique medium of expression that can elevate youth and young adults' resistance and consciousness of the oppressive system. ...
Article
Everyone's voice counts, and we all don't have to have the same voices. But we do want our voices to be part of the transformation in our world and in our society. I would not have thought about this if I didn't take this course." "There was so much I had yet to understand and to know about engaging with young people. I think I was so focused on the curriculum, English, and knowledge what I need to know to be a good English teacher that I forgot who is at the center of all the work, and that is the youth." "I learned a lot about youth actions and how youth's voices can be represented in so many ways through art.
... Specifically, he takes readers through the methodology embedded in Hip-Hop that facilitates activism and research, drawing connections between the values and cultural positioning embedded in this artistic form and the epistemological demands of YPAR. Mikal first contextualizes the pedagogy of Hip-Hop, rooting it in the ideas of Critical Hip-Hop Pedagogy (Akom, 2009), then examines Hip-Hop practice as a teaching method. From his position as a community-based teaching artist, he identifies, explains, and contextualizes the specific structure and framework of creating rap verse as a part of CFJ youths' research projects. ...
... HHBE is one of numerous ways to actualize CSP (Alim and Haupt, 2017;Kim and Pulido, 2015;Ladson-Billings, 2019;Paris, 2012). Hip-hop, as a cultural movement, has the potential to raise student consciousness (Akom, 2009;Duncan-Andrade and Morrell, 2005;Kuttner, 2016) and can be incorporated into learning spaces to engage young people (Covington et al., 2018), including giving them a voice within the curriculum (Emdin, 2016;Paul, 2000). While HHBE research has often occurred in humanities classrooms (Duncan-Andrade and Morrell, 2005;Kim and Pulido, 2015), there has been some research using HHBE in science education (Adjapong and Emdin, 2015;Emdin, 2010) computer science education, (Gorson et al., 2017) and software design for learning (Pinkard, 2001). ...
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the designed cultural ecology of a hip-hop and computational science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) camp and the ways in which that ecology contributed to culturally sustaining learning experiences for middle school youth. In using the principles of hip-hop as a CSP for design, the authors question how and what practices were supported or emerged and how they became resources for youth engagement in the space. Design/methodology/approach The overall methodology was design research. Through interpretive analysis, it uses an example of four Black girls participating in the camp as they build a computer-controlled DJ battle station. Findings Through a close examination of youth interactions in the designed environment – looking at their communication, spatial arrangements, choices and uses of materials and tools during collaborative project work – the authors show how a learning ecology, designed based on hip-hop and computational practices and shaped by the history and practices of the dance center where the program was held, provided access to ideational, relational, spatial and material resources that became relevant to learning through computational making. The authors also show how youth engagement in the hip-hop computational making learning ecology allowed practices to emerge that led to expansive learning experiences that redefine what it means to engage in computing. Research limitations/implications Implications include how such ecologies might arrange relations of ideas, tools, materials, space and people to support learning and positive identity development. Originality/value Supporting culturally sustaining computational STEM pedagogies, the article argues two original points in informal youth learning 1) an expanded definition of computing based on making grammars and the cultural practices of hip-hop, and 2) attention to cultural ecologies in designing and understanding computational STEM learning environments.
... Additionally, teachers can expose students to nondominant linguistic practices to raise their metalinguistic knowledge. For example, Critical Hip-Hop Pedagogy has been shown to both center and value Black and Brown students' cultural and linguistic practices (Akom, 2009;Love, 2014). Similarly, Kibler, Salerno, and Hardigree (2014) found that students in a middle school dual-language program were able to increase their understanding and appreciation of one another's language practices by exploring different assets of language and culture. ...
Article
Knowledge plays an inarguably critical role in reading comprehension. When considering the science of reading, it is important to engage with varying theoretical frameworks and empirical research that inform our collective understanding regarding the intersection of knowledge and literacy in K–12 classrooms. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to consider sociocultural and cognitivist perspectives on the role that knowledge plays throughout the reading process and to examine whose knowledge matters. Then, the authors address three tensions related to the role of knowledge in K–12 literacy instruction and offer research-based perspectives on how educators, researchers, school leaders, parents, and community leaders can rethink knowledge to support students in learning from texts. First, the authors reframe the knowledge gap and suggest ways that teachers can privilege students’ knowledge as assets during literacy instruction. Second, the authors address the importance of supporting students in activating, integrating, and revising their knowledge during text processing and suggest evidence-based instructional techniques that support students’ learning from texts. Finally, the authors contend that content knowledge is not the only type of knowledge that matters in reading and suggest how teachers can support readers in using other types of knowledge that are crucial to comprehension.
... Additionally, teachers can expose students to nondominant linguistic practices to raise their metalinguistic knowledge. For example, Critical Hip Hop Pedagogy has been shown to both center and value Black and Brown students' cultural and linguistic practices (Akom, 2009;Love, 2014). Similarly, Kibler, Salerno, and Hardigree (2004) found that students in a middle school dual language program were able to increase their understanding and appreciation of each other's language practices by exploring different assets of language and culture. ...
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Knowledge plays an inarguably critical role in reading comprehension. When considering the science of reading, it is important to engage with varying theoretical frameworks and empirical research that inform our collective understanding regarding the intersection of knowledge and literacy in K-12 classrooms. Therefore, the purpose of this commentary is to consider sociocultural and cognitivist perspectives on the role that knowledge plays throughout the reading process as well as examine whose knowledge matters. We then address three tensions related to the role of knowledge in K-12 literacy instruction and offer research-based perspectives on how educators, researchers, school leaders, parents and community leaders can rethink knowledge to support children in learning from texts. First, we reframe the knowledge gap and suggest ways that teachers can privilege children’s knowledge as assets during literacy instruction. Second, we address the importance of supporting children in activating, integrating, and revising their knowledge during text processing, and suggest evidence-based instructional techniques that support students’ learning from texts. Finally, we contend that content knowledge is not the only type of knowledge that matters in reading and suggest how teachers can support readers in using other types of knowledge that are crucial to comprehension.
... Many sources have offered knowledge about empowerment through Hip-hop. Hip-hop supports identity development, self-expression, personal meaning-making, cultural affirmation and growth, and reflexivity and processing (Akom, 2009 Viega, 2018). Hip-hop has also provided economic power and creative agency for Black people in very meaningful ways. ...
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A historical basis and a therapeutic foundation are given for understanding the importance of equity when considering contexts of race in music therapy, specifically with African-American or Black clients. Those contexts are broad, including, but not limited to Black clients, Black music, diversity and inclusion, safe spaces, multiculturalism, access to music therapy education, access to services. Examples are given of the Black experience in the United States related to self-definition, self-sufficiency, growth, and resiliency. Both cultural and musical aesthetic contextualization are pointed to, and connections are drawn between the navigation of Black people through different types of oppressive systems, and the negotiation of double-bind dilemmas that try to force Black disembodiment when trying to live authentic personhood in the face of proscriptive and prescriptive forces. Despite this systemic oppression, Black people continue to show a resilience in society as well as therapeutic and health settings, which is seen more readily when therapists and professionals can center in the margins the lived experience of Black clients, decenter themselves where appropriate, and practice a critical consciousness that actively uses counterhegemonic and antiracist practices. As music therapists have begun to understand joining ethics and evidence together through the self-advocacy of some populations, we must do the same while explicitly centering equity in our work with Black clients. If music therapists truly espouse justice, then there should be a critical examination of this in the profession-- in ourselves, our work, our relationship to music, our organizations, and in our education and training.
... Research on SJTE represents the complexity and diversity of the concept of social justice. This research includes hip-hop pedagogy (Akom, 2009), racial and ethnic dynamics in cross-cultural teacher education (Chinnery, 2008), globalization (Apple, 2011), sexual orientation and gender (Jones & Hughes-Decatur, 2012;Rands, 2009), and responses to neoliberal policies (Weiner, 2007). For the purpose of this manuscript, McDonald's (2008) definition of SJTE will be employed because it was the most concise yet inclusive definition uncovered through this review and related to teacher education specifically: Social justice teacher education programs intend to integrate social justice across the curriculum, making the social, political, and cultural structures that underlie inequity fundamental to learning to teach. . . . ...
... Over the last twenty years, researchers have argued that social lives of American youth are heavily shaped by hip hop's cultural practices (Petchauer 2009(Petchauer , 2015. Moreover, many emerging scholars of the late 1990s and early 2000s wrote extensively about the cultural capital of hip hop culture among Black youth (Akom 2009;Perry 2004;Rose 1994;Watkins 2001). Since then, the focus of scholarly research on hip hop music has moved beyond fear over the psychosocial effects of lyrical to rich qualitative accounts of the meaning-making processes its youth listeners attached to hip hop culture (Evans 2019). ...
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This article is an ethnographic study of a hip hop-based music education programme for students within elementary school classrooms. Drawing on two years of fieldwork in two urban schools, this case study describes how hip hop song composition encouraged participants to make essential and critical reflections about media’s place in their personal lives, peer groups, families and communities. The findings of this study suggest that the social and cultural capital of making hip hop music can contribute to bolstering academic learning for Black youth. Implications from this study also suggest informal interests and social identities rooted in hip hop music can connect youth to pathways for professions in creative labour, high-capacity technological skills, civic-mindedness and critical media literacy that could also transcend the classroom.
... Though the YPAR process is fluid, contextualized, and non-prescriptive by design to meet the needs of participants and their contexts, some common approaches for engaging youth alongside adult facilitators emerge from the academic literature. Through YPAR, youth engage in an intensive, inquiry-based process similar to that of professional action researchers (Akom, 2009;. Consistent with an inquiry-based approach, YPAR youth researchers begin the process by choosing a research topic and developing a research question that seeks to address a problem affecting them and their communities. ...
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YPAR seeks to position youth as experts on their worlds, investigating issues that affect their lives and then taking action to create solutions. As such, one of the key epistemological principles underpinning YPAR is the robust participation of youth throughout the knowledge creation process. A growing body of literature examines what youth participation looks like in the context of YPAR that is enacted in school settings. Building on this recent work, this paper drills down on the concept of participation as the authors examine the tensions around adult and youth participation that we faced as we engaged with youth and teachers in different participatory studies in urban Ireland, urban USA, and suburban USA. We conclude that, while those who engage in YPAR should seek collective action throughout the process, more often than not YPAR is a dance of intra-action, always shifting and flowing to respond to and take up the evolving and entangled needs, knowledges, and understandings of those involved.
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This study examines the impact that My Other Brother (MOB) has on K-12 Black male youth in the MOB community organization within Oakland Unified School District (OUSD. In critically examining the narratives of 10 low-income K-12 Black male students in MOB: This study utilizes Tupac Shakur’s construct of Thug Life as a theoretical and analytical lens in assessing how Black males in the MOB program navigate processes of alienation. Navigating processes of alienation was placed in context with four critical stages in alignment with Thug Life: These stages emphasized, 1) MOB students’ recognition of racism/inequality on an individual level; 2) a recognition of structural level inequality of which they are members of a community of oppressed; 3) a recognition of pride and solidarity in communal struggle; and 4) a political praxis to resist structural racism/dehumanization through education as a function of Black male success. The 4th stage of Thug Life, - MOB youth’s political praxis to resist structural dehumanization, is most important given that this stage of Thug Life is a stage of justice. Justice is grounded in addressing real world issues that youth in this study experience, such as poverty. How can we re-imagine education policy and practice to support Black male youth in receiving access to tangible financial opportunities as part of their education experience while being intentional about understanding that Black solidarity and community is key to this process? Education leaders and Policy makers must support those that are already grounded in community that can do the necessary work to achieve Black male success outcomes as defined by students.
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Forming and sustaining healthy relationships of any kind requires empathy, thought, communication and effort, all of which are learned skills. Many of these skills can and should be learned in a variety of places, including and especially in schools. One of the most appropriate venues for teaching interpersonal relationship skills in school is through ‘sex ed’ classes. I argue that student‐centred, anti‐racist, culturally affirming and appropriate, inclusive, egalitarian and relationship‐based learning environments are necessary for sex education that benefits all students. The principles of hip hop–based pedagogies, including Christopher Emdin's Reality Pedagogy, Bettina Love's Abolitionist Pedagogy and Rawls and Robinson's Youth Culture Pedagogy can serve as a useful theoretical framework around which to build sex education curriculum and policy. School‐based sex education (SBSE) based on these principles may prove extremely beneficial not only to all students and their individual sense of identity and sexual autonomy but also to the general welfare of the public in the long run.
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The article outlines the results of a quantitative study on hip hop in school music lessons in Baden-Württemberg, which suggest deficits with regard to the music-pedagogical approach to popular music in the classroom. The focus of the article therefore is on the question of the educational potential of the youth culture. A look at approaches of other disciplines (American Hip Hop Pedagogy as well as German youth social work) reveals perspectives for dealing with music practices of Hip Hop culture in music classes.
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In diesem Beitrag stelle ich einen interdisziplinären Ansatz vor, wie Methodender Hip Hop Studies für musikpädagogische Forschung genutzt werdenkönnen, um dadurch die produktive Auseinandersetzung mit HipHop imMusikunterricht an allgemeinbildenden Schulen zu befördern. Dies möchteich anhand einiger meiner Studien zum Thema HipHop darlegen: Zum einenfasse ich zentrale Ergebnisse meiner musiktheoretischen Studien zu Rhyth-mus im Rap zusammen. Zum anderen stelle ich meine kindheitssoziologischenAnalysen dar, die die Konstruktionen von Kindheitsbildern in der Grundschuleund im HipHop untersuchen. Beide Perspektiven nutze ich für die musik-pädagogische Reflexion von Lernpotenzialen und Normkonflikten, die im Kontext von HipHop im Musikunterricht entstehen können.
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We study the role of Hip-Hop teaching artists in a school change initiative. A school-university-community partnership in a Canadian city, the project sought to develop a school-wide focus on the “urban arts” for student learning and wellbeing. The experiences of nine teaching artists over four years, examined through the lens of Critical Hip-Hop Pedagogy, offer insight into the roles of Hip-Hop based teaching artists in a nontraditional, arts-based, school change initiative.
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Hip-Hop History exposes inequities within the social studies curriculum and the challenges facing those who seek to change it. In this article, we share the process for creating a new social studies course in a suburban high school in central Ohio, the need for the course, and the resources created to assist in its adoption. The article argues for the theoretical need for change in the social studies curriculum. Using Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Hip-Hop Pedagogies, we use Hip-Hop as a medium to shift the lens through which events are viewed. We use this course as an attempt to deconstruct the white, male, privileged version of American history and provide space for voices previously silenced by the dominant narratives. The article also outlines the many challenges educators and local school boards encounter trying to make such changes in current bureaucratic systems designed to perpetuate those narratives.
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This paper explores the potential of Slam poetry to serve as a transformative and emancipatory pedagogic tool for marketing education. An under-researched style of poetry within the field of marketing pedagogy, Slam’s ability to foster compassionate criticality through the creative presentation of subjective voices feeds into the broader business school agendas of responsible management education and decolonisation. Through situating the audience, Slam poetry offers a resonant method to harness critical reflexivity away from the traditional conventions of academic expression. Extending extant research on the role of poetry, the paper argues that the efficacy of Slam poetry through meaningful, accessible dialogue rooted in the vernacular becomes an important dialogical encounter for individuals to understand other subject positions. Through the application of Slam as an emancipatory tool, individuals are afforded intellectual freedoms as critically reflexive citizens engaged in the serious business of emotion.
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I discuss White American students’ experiences of reading racism-themed young adult literature (YAL), addressing the issue of police brutality, and using the concept of intersectionality to promote social justice awareness. Based on analysis of their written reflections and classroom discussions, I argue reading racism-themed YAL with an intersectionality lens helped White American students complicate their understanding of the struggles and the resistance of youths of color at the present time. I share my instructional strategy for helping White students identify, analyze, and critique the work of power upon American youths.
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In this study, we examine how race and racism impact the schooling of African American males by analyzing the first-person perspective of hip-hop superstar, Nasir “Nas” Jones. We selected Nas due to his unique yet prevalent educational trajectory and perspectives. Critical race theory is employed as a framework as well as notions of Sankofa methodology and literary analysis to investigate his music, documentaries, and an open letter whereby he critiques the public school system while providing academic ideas to engage and inspire Black students. Studies about Black males routinely focus on their subpar academic performance with the intention of “correcting” these behaviors. We utilize the experiences of Nas to reframe the conversation and provide nuanced insight into Black educational experiences instead of perpetuating recycled, bleak narratives. This article concludes with suggestions for educators to better serve African American males in the Pre K-12 academic context.
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In this article, we introduce co-excavative letter writing as a method for developing racial literacy, deepening relationships, and challenging standard forms of knowledge production. Jordan and Karen, students in Yolanda’s cotaught graduate seminar, developed an epistolary exchange as part of their “(un)final project.” Collaborative epistles challenged the writers to explore their positionalities, allowing them to trace interrelated issues of power and identity in their past and present experiences. The co-excavative letter-writing process makes explicit the individual voices that combine to create coauthored academic articles, highlighting the process of collaboration in a way that traditional academic production obscures.
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This article explores the key themes of African diaspora life for young people in Australia and their interplay with identity politics, primarily focusing on young South Sudanese Australians. This is captured through their participation in youth participatory action research (YPAR) facilitated by a small non-profit, Footprints. The notion of ‘identity politics playing tricks’ was derived from observing Footprints YPAR projects as South Sudanese Australian (SSA) Hip Hop artists discern their diaspora identities in the backdrop of a nation that often displays a political agenda about their presence. Alternatively, young people re-frame and assert their identity formation through their Blackness and pride in culture and establish themselves as social agents in the world. Utilising ‘critical race theories’ through the lens of ‘urban youth culture’, this article demonstrates how participants examine their multifaceted experiences whilst navigating cultural codes; how they negotiate and articulate their own identities in challenging circumstances and seeks to understand communities’ views on diaspora, social, national and cultural identities’ in a diverse environment. It addressed the themes of the politics of ‘reclaiming identity’. Findings point to the necessity to further explore racialisation discourses in localised contexts whilst prioritising the self-articulation of identities reviewing how young people enact agency and resilience.
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This article investigates hip hop activists within different organizational structures and their approach to hip hop as cultural form in itself, their cultural assumptions and educational ideologies as well as their relationship to institutional education, the music market and the citizen formation related to the Danish state’s integration projects. We argue that while hip hop has certainly proven to be a fruitful alternative to traditional educational practices, it also involves its own dilemmas and challenges.
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Institutions of higher education continue to face the pressing values of neoliberalism. As such, colleges and universities seek to produce human capital. Critical media literacy offers one means of education to challenge neoliberal assumptions. However, current research lacks a conceptual understanding of how musical artists can serve as critical pedagogues through their music. The current chapter seeks to understand the role of movement intellectuals in popular music among educators. More specifically, this chapter proposes the following definition of a movement intellectual in popular music: an artist who observes, collects and disseminates warranted counter-narratives through the medium of their music. Ultimately, through exploring germinal and contemporary literature, this chapter attempts to offer a language for talking about critical music literacy as a means to challenge nihilism within the environment of a neoliberal higher education.
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Background Efforts to confront the type 2 diabetes (T2D) epidemic have been stymied by an absence of effective communication on policy fronts. Whether art can be harnessed to reframe the T2D discourse from an individual, biomedical problem to a multilevel, communal and social problem is not known. Method We explored whether spoken word workshops enable young artists of color to convey a critical consciousness about T2D. The Bigger Picture fosters creation and dissemination of art to shift from the narrow biomedical model toward a comprehensive socioecological model (SEM). Workshops offer (1) public health content, (2) writing exercises, and (3) feedback on drafts. Based on Freire and Boal’s participatory pedagogy, workshops encourage youth to tap into their lived experiences when creating poetry. We analyzed changes in public health literary and activation among participants and mapped poems onto the SEM to assess whether their poetry conveyed the multilevel perspective critical to public health literacy. Results Participants reported significant increases in personal relevance of T2D prevention, T2D discussions with peers, concern about corporations’ targeted marketing, and interest in community organizing to confront the epidemic. Across stanzas, nearly all poems (95%) featured >three of five SEM levels (systemic forces, sectors of influence, societal norms, behavioral settings, individual factors); three-quarters (78%) featured >four levels. Conclusions Engaging youth poets of color to develop artistic content to combat T2D can increase their public health literary and social activation and foster compelling art that communicates how complex, multilevel forces interact to generate disease and disease disparities.
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This article draws on ethnographic research conducted in 2015 with Hip Hop dancers in Perth, as well as my own personal engagement as a Breaking practitioner, to examine how membership within the local Perth Hip Hop dance scene is made and negotiated. The focus of this article is on the processual, embodied and locally particular aspects of personhood, alhough specifically my concern is with how Hip Hop dancers themselves make sense of, experience and authenticate persons within their own specific local and social context. My ethnographic observations and discussions of the Perth Hip Hop dance scene contribute to broader anthropological debates on personhood by drawing attention to the importance of being connected and actively involved in Hip Hop dancing practices and local Hip Hop dancing events. This research illustrates how personhood in Hip Hop is something that is continually being remade and renegotiated over time and across different spaces, in addition to the significance of one's body in the negotiation process (An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2017 Australian Anthropological Society (AAS) conference at the University of Adelaide.).
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As the generation and use of big data becomes more prevalent in youth work, young people grow up in a world that “knows” more about their lives than ever before. Beyond school attendance and grades, these systems know about out-of-school program participation, social service resources, therapeutic interventions, and more. Though data historically was used to understand and improve program achievements, communicate with funders, and track participants, it is increasingly used to suggest and even perform interventions in young peoples’ lives. Young people are rarely asked how they feel about these systems. This study, presented as a counter-narrative from their perspective, differentiates the big data collected and analyzed about them from the “big data” - or stuff that they feel really matters about who they are and the challenges they face. It concludes by offering four questions to help youth-serving organizations consider the ways they generate and use data, in light of the many issues young people raise about new big data trends.
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Anti-deficit pedagogy is an innovative and practical concept that aids in closing the cultural gap minority students face in education. Minority students often bare an undue burden in regards to accessing standard content under current pedagogical approaches. They are faced with unrealistic expectations of simultaneously learning content, the context of the content, and the skills and tools needed to access and unpack the content. Those expectations are in addition to minority students being discouraged and disconnected from a system of education that seemingly devalues them by either ignoring contributions made by individuals that they share commonalities with or that offers minimal acknowledgement of events with any significant relevancy. Anti-deficit pedagogy addresses many of the critical issues responsible for the expanding cultural gap between students and educators who are content knowledgeable, but lack cultural proficiency. This chapter highlights the development and implementation of a course for a group of African American male students.
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Critical communication pedagogies in universities are important because they teach students how communication processes produce social difference and social justice activism. To keep these pedagogical aims relevant to younger generations and promote open instructional practices, the pedagogies can benefit from an injection of culturally responsive approaches that engage college students today. This article reflects on the fusion of ‘critical hip hop pedagogy’ into my own communication teaching praxis through a course I developed, ‘Hip Hop Culture, Communication, and Social Change.’ I examine four core objectives that critical hip hop pedagogy fosters in educational spaces. These include challenging traditional white supremacist paradigms, grounding an intersectional analysis of identities and oppression, focusing on local capacity building and empowerment, and the use of trans-disciplinary scholarship and media. I conclude with ten teaching tenets that would strengthen the integration of critical hip hop pedagogy into communication education spaces.
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This article draws on Wallerstein’s notion of world-systems to contribute to the theorization of cultural hybrids. Through an analysis of hip hop and yoga, as well as their arrangement as a hip hop yoga class in Perth, Western Australia, this article offers a framework through which to explore the social (re)productions, expressions and consumptions, both within and across differing local and social contexts. In the article, we investigate how the emergence of hip hop yoga practices are accepted more easily in some places, but rejected in others. Our analysis does not aim to critique those who identify as members or practitioners of hip hop yoga, either in Perth or other locales, but is concerned more with the power structures that enable, produce and maintain these hybrids and enable them to succeed.
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Synthesizing literature from critical pedagogy, sociocultural psychol- ogy, and cultural studies with popular cultural texts and experiences from actual classroom practice, this article conceptualizes the critical teaching of popular culture as a viable strategy to increase academic and critical literacies in urban secondary classrooms. Relying on scholarship that views youth popular culture as a powerful, but oftentimes underutilized point of intervention for schools, we discuss the impact of using youth popular culture to reconnect with otherwise disenfranchised school- ing populations. We rebut criticisms associated with the teaching of popular culture by showing how teachers can simultaneously honor and draw upon the sociocultu- ral practices of their students while also adhering to state and national standards. Further, the article demonstrates the social relevance, academic worthiness, and in- tellectual merit of hip-hop artists such as the controversial Eminem and popular film texts such as The Godfather trilogy (Coppola 1972, 1974, 1990). The article con- cludes with a call for postmodern critical educational leaders—vigilant advocates for students who are willing to combine academic content knowledge with a commit- ment to an engaging multicultural curricula. According to the National Reading Conference on adolescent literacy, there is a growing gap between the levels of literacy learned in schools and the types of literacy skills demanded in an information age (Alvermann, 2001). This literacy gap, seen particularly in urban schools, carries serious social and economic consequences (i.e., incarceration, unemployment, etc.). School leaders have been besieged on all sides (parents, teachers, district level administration, state and federal policy makers, and the
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This article conceptualizes community cultural wealth as a critical race theory (CRT) challenge to traditional interpretations of cultural capital. CRT shifts the research lens away from a deficit view of Communities of Color as places full of cultural poverty disadvantages, and instead focuses on and learns from the array of cultural knowledge, skills, abilities and contacts possessed by socially marginalized groups that often go unrecognized and unacknowledged. Various forms of capital nurtured through cultural wealth include aspirational, navigational, social, linguistic, familial and resistant capital. These forms of capital draw on the knowledges Students of Color bring with them from their homes and communities into the classroom. This CRT approach to education involves a commitment to develop schools that acknowledge the multiple strengths of Communities of Color in order to serve a larger purpose of struggle toward social and racial justice.
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"The Voice of the New Teacher" (Public Education Network, 2003) lists peer interaction (formal and informal) as two of the five most positive influences on teachers' early careers. The report also lists the absence of resources and the "lack of a strong professional community" and positive school culture as the biggest concerns for new urban teachers (p. 20). In response to these and other reports that express concerns over poor retention and professional development plans for urban teachers, an increasing number of researchers are calling for professional development that emphasizes teacher dialogue and collaboration. This has led to a series of studies examining the use of inquiry groups as a site for teacher development that provides a more collaborative professional environment.
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A research methodology that combines theory, action and participation (PAR) committed to further the interests of exploited groups and classes has been initiated and tried in many Third World countries since the 1970s. PAR claims inspiration from phenomenological and Marxist trends adjusted to regional realities and factors; it challenges established academic routines without discarding the need to accumulate and systematise knowledge, and to construct a more comprehensive and human paradigm in the social sciences, and it proposes a series of techniques to combine knowledge and power without falling into the dangers of world annihilation This is illustrated with actual field studies and projects in Nicaragua, Colombia and Mexico.
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This article seeks to locate hip-hop in the realm of popular culture in education. Through the use of song lyrics, the author suggests the use of rap music to provide context for the humanities and social sciences in secondary curriculum. Using a theoretical and practical lens, the article argues for the use of hip-hop and other elements of popular culture to be utilized to develop relevant curriculum. Although the article highlights one aspect of hip-hop culture, it seeks to advocate for other creative techniques seeking to provide relevance for high school youth.
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Using critical race theory and Latina/Latino critical race theory as a framework, this article utilizes the methods of qualitative inquiry and counterstorytelling to examine the construct of student resistance. The authors use two events in Chicana/Chicano student history—the 1968 East Los Angeles school walkouts and the 1993 UCLA student strike for Chicana and Chicano studies. Using these two methods and events, the authors extend the concept of resistance to focus on its transformative potential and its internal and external dimensions. The authors describe and analyze a series of individual and focus group interviews with women who participated in the 1968 East Los Angeles high school walkouts. The article then introduces a counterstory that briefly listens in on a dialogue between two data-driven composite characters, the Professor and an undergraduate student named Gloria. These characters’ experiences further illuminate the concepts of internal and external transformational resistance.
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This article argues that narratives forecasting spectacular mobility for Black people/people of color along with the growth of the Black middle class function as proof that America ‘works’ and that the American dream is obtainable for all. However, what is concealed within this ‘meritocratic’ discourse is that full acceptance into this society is restricted on the basis of racial identity and other forms of social difference. I term the illusion of egalitarianism as ‘Ameritocracy’. By combining two separate words – American and Meritocracy – I use the idea of ‘Ameritocracy’ to demonstrate how race intersects with other forms of social oppression such as class, gender, religion, nationality, sexuality, phenotype, accent, immigration status, and special needs. Thus, informed by the intercentricity of racialized oppression, I use the concept of Ameritocracy to racialize social and cultural reproduction theory and illustrate how traditional claims of objectivity, meritocracy, colorblindness, and race neutrality often mask self‐interest, power, and privilege of dominant groups in the United States’ opportunity structure and beyond.
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Influential work on oppositional culture explains involuntary minorities' disadvantage as the result of a culture that discourages academic effort by branding it as "acting white," which leads students to resist schooling. Much of this work depicts involuntary minority cultures as internally uniform. This article challenges the oppositional-culture explanation in three important ways: (1) by demonstrating that through the religious tenets and practices of the Nation of Islam (NOI), young female members develop a black achievement ideology, resulting in the adoption of the kind of studious orientation to school that is usually demonstrated by voluntary immigrant groups; (2) by demonstrating the ways in which black people differentially make sense of and enact what it means to be black that challenge previous binary or dichotomized accounts of black oppositional social identity; and (3) by illustrating how resistance for NOI young women is transformative, as well as reproductive, of existing patterns of social, racial, and gender relations. The evidence, from a two-year ethnographic study of female high school students who were in the NOI suggests a systematic reexamination of the oppositional theory and its main suppositions.
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While narrative focuses on particular protagonists and events, narrative also situates tellers and their audiences within a web of historical and cultural expectations, ideologies, and meanings, more broadly. As such, narrative creates shared understandings and community among those participating in narrative activity. Moreover, the narrative process extends beyond the boundaries of the here and now to embrace people and places in a cultural past. This article examines the religious narrative accounts of the apparition of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe told in children's religious education classes called doctrina at a Catholic parish in Los Angeles. The children that attend these classes are of Mexican descent and their lessons are taught in Spanish. The article analyzes the linguistic and interactional means through which narrative renditions of the story of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe construct Mexican identity. The narrative renditions tell the story of the apparition of the Virgin Mary in Tepeyac, near Mexico City, in the year 1531, thirteen years after the fall of the Aztec empire to the Spanish conquest. These diasporic narrative accounts transcend time and space, as they continue to be told by Mexican Catholics at places beyond the geopolitical borders of Mexico. Moreover, these narrative tellings are instrumental for positioning teachers and students in a postcolonial moment that revisits the hierarchies of Mexico's colonial regime vis-à-vis their current experiences as immigrants in Los Angeles.
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Using critical race theory as a framework, this article provides an examination of how racial and gender microaggressions affect the career paths of Chicana and Chicano scholars. This paper reports on open-ended survey and interview data of a purposive sample of six Chicana and six Chicano Ford Foundation Predoctoral, Dissertation, and Postdoctoral Minority Fellows. There are three objectives for this study: (a) to extend and apply a critical race theory to the field of education, (b) to ''recognize,'' ''document,'' and analyze racial and gender microaggressions of Chicana and Chicano scholars, and (c) to ''hear'' the voice of ''discrimination's victims'' by examining the effect of race and gender microaggressions on the lives of Chicana and Chicano scholars. Three patterns of racial and gender microaggressions were found: (a) scholars who felt out of place in the academy because of their race and or gender, (b) scholars who felt their teachers professors had lower expectations for them, and (c) scholars' accounts of subtle and not so subtle racial and gender incidents. The article ends with possible directions for continued critical race theory research with scholars of color.
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In this article, I reflect on Signithia Fordham and John Ogbu's classic research on the “burden of ‘acting White’ ” to develop a long overdue dialogue between Africana studies and critical white studies. It highlights the dialectical nature of Fordham and Ogbu's philosophy of race and critical race theory by locating the origins of the “burden of ‘acting White’ ” in the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, who provides some of the intellectual foundations for this work. Following the work of F. W. Twine and C. Gallagher (2008), I then survey the field of critical whiteness studies and outline an emerging third wave in this interdisciplinary field. This new wave of research utilizes the following five elements that form its basic core: (1) the centrality of race and racism and their intersectionality with other forms of oppression; (2) challenging white supremacy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and other dominant ideologies; (3) a critical reflexivity that addresses how various formulations of whiteness are situated in relation to contemporary formulations of Black/people of color identity formation, politics, and knowledge construction; (4) innovative research methodologies including asset-based research approaches; and, finally, (5) a racial elasticity that identifies the ways in which white racial power and pigmentocracy are continually reconstituting themselves in the color-blind era and beyond (see A. A. Akom 2008c).[oppositional identity, Black student achievement, youth development, acting white, Du Bois, critical whiteness studies, critical race theory, race, Black metropolis, double consciousness, twoness, hip-hop]
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Although community-based participatory research (CBPR) shares many of the core values of health education and related fields, the outside researcher embracing this approach to inquiry frequently is confronted with thorny ethical challenges. Following a brief review of the conceptual and historical roots of CBPR, Kelly's ecological principles for community-based research and Jones's three-tiered framework for understanding racism are introduced as useful frameworks for helping explore several key challenges. These are (a) achieving a true "community-driven" agenda; (b) insider-outsider tensions; (c) real and perceived racism; (d) the limitations of "participation"; and (e) issues involving the sharing, ownership, and use of findings for action. Case studies are used in an initial exploration of these topics. Green et al.'s guidelines for appraising CBPR projects then are highlighted as an important tool for helping CBPR partners better address the challenging ethical issues often inherent in this approach.