Hip Hop in Crisis

, Malcolm A. Kline, 1 Comment

Those who long for a traditional high school or college curriculum, particularly when they never experienced one, might not appreciate the internal conflicts that plague multicultural education.

“Many Hip Hop pedagogies, from Alim’s critical Hip Hop language pedagogies (2004) to Emdin’s work on Hip Hop and science education (2010), for example, argue for the use of rap battles—improvised verbal duels—in classroom learning,” Django Paris and H. Samy Alim write in the book Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies. “Yet few take up the fact that the Hip Hop battle can sometimes be a masculinist space that excludes young women, queer youth, and young men of color who do not identify as Black (even as young women, queer youth, and youth who are not Black continue to ‘roc the mic’).”

“CSP (Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies )must contend with the possibility that Hip Hop pedagogies that utilize rap battles (as one among many examples of Hip Hop pedagogical practices) may seemingly serve the needs of many students of color, particularly young, able-bodied, cis-hetero men, but may unwittingly reproduce forms of exclusion in our classrooms and communities. (For example, the field rarely produces gendered analyses of classroom participation when using Hip Hop.)”

Alim works at UCLA and Paris toils at Michigan State. By the way, according to the Urban Dictionary, a cishetero man is “A heterosexual person whose gender aligns with what they were assigned at birth.” Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies is published by the Teachers College Press at Columbia University.