Hip Hop and Spoken Word Beyond the Classroom Walls
Chapter 8. Speaking as Breaking
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. 8 .
SPEAKING AS BREAKING
Inhale break beats –Ghostface Killah
Student-poet performs at Word Up! June 2013. ← 85 | 86 →
To Speak a True Word
While Chapters 6 and 7 provide an in-depth look at two individual students who have learned within the framework of Breakbeat Pedagogy over an extended period of time, it is difficult to focus solely on them. There are countless other poems, rap verses, and artifacts produced by my students that are worthy of study, reflection, analysis, and interpretation. It is beneficial to explore the complex identities of a few students, but a discussion of Word Up! and Breakbeat Pedagogy would be incomplete without a consideration of the four student poems highlighted in this chapter.
Each of these poems was written by a different member of the Slam Poetry Club, some of whom were also enrolled in my Hip Hop Lit class during the past several years. The poems were written at different times in each writer’s development. Some of these students identify as writer, poet, MC, and/or spoken word artist. All four of these poems were performed at Word Up! before an audience of approximately two hundred people in the Black Box Theater. Prior to performing, each student workshopped his or her poem with peers and received feedback on both writing and performance. Some of the poems were written in response to a prompt, while others were generated without...
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