Hey all, I haven’t written in while, but that’s only because I’m working on some EXTRA dope projects that I’ll be sharing with you shortly! For now, here’s a few updates on recent, current, and future projects.
Hamilton: The Musical
For the past six weeks I’ve been teaching a cross-curricular unit on Hamilton: The Musical. Rather than simply using Lin-Manuel’s musical as a contemporary lens through which students can study the primary source documents, thus putting them all to sleep again, I’ve written a complete hip-hop based curricular unit with a final project that students are working on now. One major focus is immigration, which has become especially relevant for my largely Latino/a student population in the year of Donald Trump. I’m excited to share this unit, and my reflections on it, with you soon! Stay tuned!
Several weeks ago I attended the SXSW edu conference and festival in Austin, Texas, where I was a featured speaker on the panel, “Can Hip-Hop Save Us? Youth & School Culture.” It was one of the most attended sessions of the conference. Check out the full panel discussion below, which also features rappers John Robinson and Audra the Rapper, moderated by James Miles of Urban Arts Partnership.
My First Book
I’m excited to announce the release of my first book, titled Breakbeat Pedagogy: Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Beyond the Classroom Walls, which will be published by Peter Lang Publishing. It is scheduled for release in Fall 2016. In the book, I reflect on the past five years of working as a hip-hop educator and argue for the inclusion of hip-hop performance art spaces in schools. It will be available wherever books are sold.
Bonus / Must-Read
My mentor, Dr. Chris Emdin of Teachers College, just released his second book to critical acclaim. It’s titled For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…And the Rest of Ya’ll Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education. This book is a must-read for all teachers, but especially those who work in urban schools. If I had read this book prior to my first year of teaching, I would have been so much more equipped to work with urban youth of color.