Street Scholar

Using Public Scholarship to Educate, Advocate, and Liberate

by Angel Jones (Author) Christopher Emdin (Foreword)
©2022 Textbook XII, 108 Pages
Series: Hip-Hop Education, Volume 5


STREET SCHOLAR is an unapologetic call-to-action that challenges the Academy to thoughtfully and intentionally engage in public scholarship. Dr. Angel Jones introduces us to a "street scholar" - someone whose mission, movements, and motivation are rooted in activism and community uplift. Jones describes her journey through academia as an Afro-Latina scholar who uses social media to peel back the curtain on the ‘ivory tower’ and make her scholarship accessible to all. She uses her platform to liberate, educate, and advocate for social justice. STREET SCHOLAR is an appeal for academic scholarship to be in conversation with the community it serves, and it offers a framework to make public scholarship a tool for liberation.

“Academics often throw around words like 'engaged scholarship' or 'praxis' when what they mean is 'sometimes I spend time with people outside the academy.' Angel Jones presents us with a volume that demonstrates what it means to build knowledge from the ground (or should I say, street) up. This should be on every educator's bookshelf!”
—Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Dr. Angel Jones' work is on time. By challenging traditional research paradigms in the digital age, she is providing us with steps and guideposts to battle the latest iterations of white supremacy. In a world that moves at break-neck speed where history is erased and misinformation reigns supreme, we must not overlook the importance of the dissemination of justice in real time."
—Dave Stovall, author, professor, and critical race scholar

"Angel is an unapologetic Black woman who is dedicated to advocating for our community. I engage with her content because I appreciate her and the unique ability she has to address controversial topics in a way that is educational and thought-provoking. Her work is important and she is setting the example for what it means to use our platforms to benefit the greater good.”
—Amber Riley, award-winning actress, singer, and activist

"With a mission of educate, advocate, and liberate, this book breaks down the importance of the active nature of this work. There is nothing submissive about this book. This is a goal oriented, results centered, action plan and a must read.”
—Etan Thomas, NBA veteran, author, and activist

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Foreword: The One by Dr. Christopher Emdin
  • Introduction: Change the Game
  • Chapter 1. Mic Check
  • Chapter 2. Rebel Without a Pause
  • Chapter 3. Moment of Truth
  • Chapter 4. Miseducation
  • Chapter 5. Poetic Justice
  • Chapter 6. No Frauds
  • Chapter 7. Ain’t Nuthin’ but a We Thing
  • Chapter 8. More Than One Mic
  • Chapter 9. Ready or Not
  • Chapter 10. And Now What
  • Street Scholar Mixtape
  • References
  • Bibliography

←viii | ix→


The kids better buy my rookie card now
’Cause after this year, the price ain’t comin’ down
And if you got a joint bubblin’, then get money now
’Cause in a minute, there’s gonna be some real trouble comin’ out
— Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), “Oh no”

I have struggled to write this foreword. This is my sixth version of it. Each time I put words on paper, they don’t seem to capture what I feel about you and this work. The first foreword referenced pages in the book and citations from scholars whose work I felt aligned to yours. It was just too academic to capture the essence of you. The second version tried to capture how this work is situated in a larger intellectual tradition that I see you situated in. I thought of Fanon, bell hooks and Maya Angelou. I see you like I see them, and I attempted to wrap your work in theirs. Somehow, that didn’t work either. It seemed too narrow to capture you as you are and on your own outside of these other brilliant minds. The third version took me down a rabbit hole of scientific inquiry. I thought of the ways that you have made me shift my perspectives through your social media posts and public engagement. That didn’t work either. You do more than change minds or open eyes. You invite souls into your world and vision. Now, here we are. No foreword written. All I have are these words. Angel, you are magic. Your words and work are unparalleled. Your presence is powerful. You are the embodiment of all that is good in the world and this work is masterful. The ways that you effortlessly embody the ways that we are is what makes you you. It’s your hiphopness. Your Puertoricanness. Your Brooklynness. Your Blackness. Your ←ix | x→fierceness. The way you carry all of who you are in your words is what makes you and this work special.

This book articulates community in majestic ways. You are of the people dear sister. Your love for us is palpable. You write like you speak. Pure. Perfectly imperfect. A stammer or stutter in between brilliant prose that gives the reader and listener a second to catch up to the speed of your mind and prepare for the next spell of words to come. This book is important simply because you are important. Sisters who wield magic like this — who hold the world in their smiles and carry our stories and ambitions on their backs the way you do must be revered. You deserve to be lifted up and we, if we are smart enough must heed your instructions and follow your lead. You carry the map to our freedom in your being. The only way we make it out of systems and structures that have given us no way is to follow you. Your ideas give us purpose in the academy and legitimacy everywhere. Your concepts are sophisticated, elegant and yet so palatable. This is soul food. Your mama’s recipe not written down anywhere and only given to those who deserve it — yet you, with love, and trust in us, give it freely here. This is what I love most about this book. It is not the words and stories and experiences you weave together in a tapestry of love. It is how you trust the reader with your recipes. It is how you model for us all how to think and write and be. Vulnerable. Truthful. Radical. Black.

As I read what you have offered, I struggle with the sorrow and sadness that lie beneath it. The hurt and pain that you carry even as you love on us. The ways that the sweetness of your love for our people is forced to mix with the tartness of this world pains me. I want to carry those burdens for you and then, I realize that what you are calling us all to do through your street scholarship and ratchetdemic identity is to carry them together. Your work is a call for us all to share burdens as we walk into freedom. That walking into freedom work challenges the existing ideas of what fulfillment or success is. You tell us directly and indirectly that being a professor or a teacher or whatever title you have pursued ain’t gon’ make you free. Your words remind us that it is an individual accomplishment that distracts us from the truth that freedom is only achieved in the collective. You challenge me to put all the titles down. You remind me to always take off the credentials and accolades and stand with palms wide towards the heavens ever ready to receive the ancestors’ words to bring back to the people. You challenge the notion that there is separation in our street selves and academic selves. You deconstruct binaries and use the bits and pieces you break down to build bridges to new possibility. You embody the essence of Ratchetdemic. You dear sister just are.

←x |

Without explicitly naming it, you call out those who profess their allegiance to racial justice but ain’t really bout that life, while calling in those who fell out of their purpose by chasing these institutions. You ask professors, “activists”, and those who profess their love for “the people” if we are in academia for the sake of waxing poetic about injustice or in it for engaging in revolutionary justice work? Are we field negroes on the plantation that is the ivory tower or are we intentional about our work of dismantling oppression through our positions?


XII, 108
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2022 (October)
Public Scholarship Hip Hop Higher Education Social Media Antiracism Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Advocacy Activism Angel M. Jones Street Scholar Using public scholarship to educate, advocate, and liberate
New York, Berlin, Bruxelles, Lausanne, Oxford, 2022. XII, 108 pp., 51 b/w ill.

Biographical notes

Angel Jones (Author) Christopher Emdin (Foreword)

Dr. Angel Jones is an educator, activist, and critical race scholar with experience in K-12 and higher education. Her research explores the impact of racism on the mental health of Black students with a focus on racial microaggressions, Racial Battle Fatigue, and gendered-racism. Dr. Jones is also a public scholar who uses social media as an educational tool to increase access to academic scholarship. Dr. Jones has been interviewed by multiple media outlets including Forbes, USA Today, and Insider for her expertise on racism in the United States.


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