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Part 2: High School Students Write Essays on Kendrick Lamar’s album, To Pimp A Butterfly

“Over 40 years, we’ve made changes in this country, but did we make a change in the heart of the individual?” – Jalen (9th grade) Since my last post about teaching Kendrick Lamar’s new album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015) in the high school classroom, many people from around the world, including educators and music fans alike, have asked me to share some …

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Hip Hop Education: An Interview w/ Dr. Pedro Noguera

As part of a series of interviews with scholars, teachers, and students about the intersections of hip hop, spoken word poetry, and urban education, we interviewed Dr. Pedro Noguera of New York University. Dr. Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. He is a sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in …

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Why I Dropped Everything And Started Teaching Kendrick Lamar’s New Album

When Kendrick Lamar released his sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015), I was in the middle of teaching a unit on Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye (1970). My freshmen students were grappling with some big ideas and some really complex language. Framing the unit as an “Anti-Oppression” study, we took special efforts to define and explore the kinds …