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.
“This book fills a gap in hip-hop ed scholarship. Too often hip-hop ed is done in classrooms with youth as an aside or a hook to get them to do ‘real work.’ This book centers hip-hop and the voices of students as the real work. Much of hip-hop ed is conducted by hip-hop cultural brokers, who are also professors, and this book is what is needed in the field: hip-hop ed being done by teachers who are outside of the culture but see the importance and beauty of the hip-hop culture.”
—Bettina L. Love, William F. Russell Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University
“We need to develop strategies for enacting abolitionist, emancipatory teaching and learning. At this particular moment in time—and sadly, as it was for many generations before as well—we especially need to find creative ways to engage youth, particularly those from historically marginalized backgrounds. Many teachers who want to do this kind of work in their classrooms will find this kind of book, which blends theory and practice, helpful.”
—Susan Jurow, professor, University of Colorado Boulder