Trials of a Hip Hop Educator: Bridging the Gap

by Tony Muhammad

As a public school educator that grew up on Hip Hop and who still loves many aspects of its cultural elements, I often incorporate it into my day to day lessons. Sometimes my opening activities would involve having my students critically analyze some form of controversy related to their favorite rappers or an explanation of the meaning of a quote by an influential personality such as KRS-One, Chuck D or Afrika Bambaataa. Our meaningful discussions would then be tied in with the lessons of the day. Art and poetry would be included in much our comprehensive learning activities, which the students have admitted to me help them understand historical events and complex words better. I have found that since I have been teaching this way it has increased both student interest and involvement in a major way.

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