Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity

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Marc Lamont Hill shares his experience teaching a hip-hop centered English literature course in a Philadelphia high school where rap music, turntablism, breakdancing, graffiti culture, and other aspects of hip-hop were incorporated into the curriculum. Drawing on that experience and on his academic work on youth culture, identity, and educational processes, Hill offers a compelling case for the power of hip-hop, not just in driving up attendance and test performance, but in helping students forge their identities in an educational setting. For over a decade, educators have looked to capitalize on the appeal of hip-hop culture, sampling its language, techniques, and styles as a way of reaching out to students. But beyond a fashionable hipness, what does hip-hop have to offer our schools? Marc Lamont Hill shows, in this revelatory new book, it is the opportunity to affect students' lives in extraordinary ways.