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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 Ten: A Hip-Hop Pedagogy of Action: Embracing #BlackLivesMatter and the Teacher Strikes as Pedagogical Frameworks (Noah Karvelis)


chapter ten

A Hip-Hop Pedagogy of Action

Embracing #BlackLivesMatter and the Teacher Strikes as Pedagogical Frameworks

noah karvelis


Hip-hop education, forged from decades of struggles over inclusion, recognition, and the belief in a more equitable, effective form of schooling, exists as a transformative pedagogy for those who recognize and utilize its potential (Akom, 2009). In such classrooms, hip-hop is embraced as a dynamic pathway toward sustaining cultures (Paris & Alim, 2017), reaching students through culturally responsive pedagogies (Ladson-Billings, 2014) and as an acknowledgement of powerful ways of knowing (Emdin, 2017) that have been rejected for far too long by a method of schooling firmly rooted in white supremacy (Giroux, 1997).

Beyond this, and in recognition of the hip-hop community’s history of both oppression and resistance, several pedagogues have also realized the potential of hip-hop as critical pedagogy (Akom, 2009; Alim, 2007; Brown, 2009; Karvelis, 2018; Mallot & Porfilio, 2007; Porfilio & Viola, 2012). In response, many hip-hop educators have applied the work of those such as Lauryn Hill, Dead Prez, Childish Gambino, Public Enemy, and countless others to engage with issues ranging from police brutality and the intersectional struggles of Black women to the role of capitalist economies in the reproduction of gender stereotypes present in some hip-hop music videos (Karvelis, 2018). This work often centers upon analyzing hip-hop as a critical text in order to develop “conscientização,” a Freirean critical consciousness which recognizes the...

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