Publication Date: October 28, 2022
Hip-hop, born after the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, is an expression and embodiment of liberation. This book explores the creative liberation, political liberation, and communicative liberation for youth as one exemplar of culturally sustaining pedagogy. The authors share what students and teachers learned in a high school class where they could access and use their wealth of historical and cultural capital. Using data from 4 years of an ongoing participatory ethnography, this book tells the story of teaching and learning with a curriculum that was developed and implemented collaboratively with students. The authors demonstrate that when urban youth have time, space (emotional, cultural, pedagogical), and trust, and when the context for learning is grounded in radical love, they will invest themselves in ways that afford authentic expression of their ingenuity and agency, resulting in consequential learning and liberation. Readers will see how students develop as whole people whose expressions, identities, and creativity build a sense of purpose and belonging fundamental to becoming an active agent of change in their community. The content of the class was hip-hop, but the goal was liberation—best class ever!
Joanne Larson is the Michael W. Scandling Professor of Education and associate director of research in the Center for Urban Education Success at the University of Rochester. Eleni Duret is a visual artist and a Michael W. Scandling Doctoral Scholar at the University of Rochester who received her PhD in 2022. Grant Atkins is a high school social studies teacher in the Rochester City School District and a hip-hop performing artist.