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ERIC Number: EJ1017693
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Hip-Hop Literature: The Politics, Poetics, and Power of Hip-Hop in the English Classroom
Kelly, Lauren Leigh
English Journal, v102 n5 p51-56 May 2013
There is an educational disconnect between students' individual backgrounds and the instruction that they traditionally receive in school (Darling-Hammond 3). This division is even more severe for black, Latino/Latina, and economically underprivileged students, who often lack the support, experience, or resources to fully engage in traditional classroom instruction. Hip-hop pedagogy has grown in the past ten years, as scholars and educators have researched and experimented with the use of hip-hop music and culture to improve students' empowerment, cultural responsiveness, and skills of literary analysis and critical literacy (Petchauer 952). Hip-hop literature is now frequently introduced into English language arts curricula as a bridge to discussion of literary works and devices. Hip-hop texts can serve as a useful supplement or entryway into the traditional English curriculum; however, simply juxtaposing such texts with canonical texts in the classroom does little to rectify the cultural inequality that already exists in education. Rap can be a powerful tool for helping students to develop skills in critical analysis, but that power is diluted when the goal of its use is solely for reading and discussing canonical texts. In this article, the author argues it is necessary to establish a separate course that focuses on hip-hop texts as the central literary genre, and recognizes their power as creative, poetic, valuable, instructional, and cultural texts, worthy of academic study. By providing students with ways in which to engage their cultural interests in an academic setting, we are giving them the opportunity to embrace their individuality while also pursuing academic success (Emdin xii).
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A