Hip Hop and Spoken Word Beyond the Classroom Walls
Chapter 6. Writing as Breaking
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. 6 .
WRITING AS BREAKING
Broken glass everywhere –Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
The slam team performs at Louder Than a Bomb youth poetry festival in Camden, New Jersey. ← 61 | 62 →
Allow Me to (Re)Introduce Myself
The next two chapters are presented as case studies of two students who have been members of the Slam Poetry Club and participants in Word Up! for several years. This chapter is a writer case study that focuses on a tenth grade student whom I’ve come to know through our work together. Eric (a pseudonym) was in the ninth grade when we first met. He was starting his first year of high school and I was beginning my first year of teaching. That fall, neither of us knew that we’d play an important role in the building of a writing community that would evolve into Word Up!
Explaining my relationship with Eric is not possible without describing the afternoon he surprised thirty students by speaking for the first time all year. In the weeks preceding the first Word Up!, we devoted entire afternoons to student workshops and event planning. The Slam Poetry Club joined the Hip Hop Lit class for several joint sessions, filling my room to capacity. It was especially full on the last Thursday before the event. I was finalizing the set list when Eric stood up in the corner of the room...
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