On this episode of Hip-Hop Can Save America! Dr. Lauren Kelly teaches teachers how to teach using Hip-Hop — why it works, and some things to watch out for. Plus, info on the brilliant, student-led Hip-Hop Youth Research & Activism conference.
A lot of our episodes delve into the wide world of hip-hop education. I’ve seen so many examples of how hip-hop music, culture, spirit, and perspective can lift up our young people in educational settings, so I will definitely continue to sing the praises of hip-hop based education.
Recently, however, a journal article caught my eye, titled, “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong: Enacting Critical Pedagogies of Hip-Hop in Mainstream Schools.” It was written by Dr. Don C. Sawyer III of Quinnipiac University and Dr. Lauren Leigh Kelly, Assistant Professor in the Urban Social Justice Teacher Education program at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education. I’ve known Dr. Kelly for a minute and thought her contribution to the article represents a very important facet of Hip-hop based education. Sometimes, we focus so much on the victories, we don’t pay enough attention to when keeping it real, goes wrong, and if we are truly looking for long-term, effective ways to advocate for hip-hop in schools, it’s equally important to pay attention to how we can make these interactions the best they can be.
I wanted to know more, and Lauren graciously agreed to come on the show to discuss it in a bit more detail. We also spoke about the incredible Hip-Hop Youth Research and Activism Conference, a student-led event that she founded, which will host its next iteration this May.