Hip Hop and Spoken Word Beyond the Classroom Walls
Chapter 7. Reading as Breaking
. 7 .
READING AS BREAKING
Hip hop enthusiasts, crate diggin’ analysts / Break beat choppin’ / Turntable protagonists –Phonte
Kendrick Lamar participates in a cypher with students in Brian Mooney’s classroom. ← 77 | 78 →
Reader as Self
This chapter focuses on an eleventh grade student whom I worked with between 2012 and 2015. Treena (a pseudonym) is a seventeen-year-old African American dance major. She also identifies as a poet or spoken word artist. I met Treena during my first year of teaching and our relationship continued to develop through our work with spoken word poetry. Treena regularly attended the Slam Poetry Club that meets on Tuesdays after school and performed in three Word Up! events.
When conducting this case study, we decided to meet in my classroom during a free period. As in my work with Eric, I was transparent with the study, informing Treena of its scope and vision—and sharing an overview of my research. I asked her to complete a Reader Survey (see Appendix I) before our first meeting. This served as a guide to our discussion, which focused for the most part on Treena’s love of performance poetry, but also on her dislike of mandated school reading. When asked about her attitudes toward reading, Treena differentiated between in-school and out-of-school reading. She described school as an “institution” where reading for pleasure is unlikely to occur. It’s important to note her use of the word...
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