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HipHopEd: The Compilation on Hip-Hop Education

Volume 2: Hip-Hop as Praxis & Social Justice


Edited By Edmund Adjapong and Ian Levy

This second volume in the Hip-Hop Education series highlights knowledge of self as the fifth and often forgotten element of hip-hop. In many cases, a connection to hip-hop culture is one that has been well embedded in the identity of hip-hop educators. Historically, academic spaces have had misperceptions and misunderstand the authentic culture of hip-hop, often forcing hip-hop educators to abandon their authentic hip-hop selves to align themselves to the traditions of academia. This edited series highlights the realities of hip-hop educators who grapple with cultivating and displaying themselves authentically in practice and offers examples of how hip-hop can be utilized in educational spaces to promote social justice. It provides narratives of graduate students, practitioners, junior and senior scholars who all identify as part of hip-hop. The chapters in this text explore the intersections of the authors’ lived experiences, hip-hop, theory, praxis and social justice.

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Chapter Three: Waiting on “My Song” in Early Childhood: Exploring Hip Hop Play in Preschool and Kindergarten (Anthony Broughton)


chapter three

Waiting on “My Song” in Early Childhood

Exploring Hip Hop Play in Preschool and Kindergarten

anthony broughton


No matter where you are or what you are doing, something magical happens when your favorite song comes on. You become ecstatic and filled with a burst of happiness; you sway from side to side, snapping your fingers, cutting a step or two, while reciting the words as if you were the artist. In spite of life’s conundrums, your favorite song has the capacity to transform your emotional state. Even if you are not in the mood to dance, your favorite song will get you moving. I recall attending a function my friends were having with the mindset that I only came to socialize, eat, and “show my face.” That plan was abruptly truncated when my favorite song came on. While our favorite songs bring us warm feelings of joy, these same warm feelings are not experienced by many children of color in the context of many of their culturally incongruent classrooms. I understand these experiences first hand. While I was not expecting my favorite song to be played in the classroom, black music and art was one of many cultural aesthetics that I certainly expected to engage in beyond Black History Month.

As a young child I loved music, but I was never moved by the “kiddy” music that was played in my preschool and kindergarten...

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