Happy Friday Afternoon,
I’m writing this from under my favorite tree at Prospect Park totally enjoying this beautiful Spring day. Don’t be jealous. Get out this weekend now that Spring has Sprung!
Last week Saturday, my team and I presented two workshops at the Decolonizing Education Conference sponsored by ESI (Expanded Success Initiative) and NYU Metro Center CSS (Center for Strategic Solutions). Whew that was a mouthful!
Students of our Critically Conscious Educators Rising Class presented their work showcasing how they have decolonized their practice and their beliefs!
Now, me and my colleague Vincent Deas of ESI and NYC Men Teach collaborated together to put on a session called: Pedagogy of Trap. We defined this pedagogy as an inquiry stance. It’s more than that music, trap music, rap music. It’s about making inroads into youth culture giving time to understand and analyze the contemporary pieces that are within their frame of reference.
Vincent and I posit that one place to start is taking a deep dive into Trap music, or any other facet of youth culture. We chose Trap, you, dear educator, must choose what is most prevalent in the lives of the students sitting in front of you everyday. Our job as Culturally Responsive Educators is to find out what matters to our students and then use that as a tool to open up the world to them.
Vincent and I love Migos. Yep, I said it. That Versace, Versace Versace and being Bad and Boujee is what I aspire to, personally. And Migos latest album is called Culture and so I ask you. To whose culture are we being responsive to? In most cases we’re responsive to our own and to “mainstream” society.
Listen, I can show you better than I can tell you. So peep a portion of it below:
Our inquiry into Trap music as pedagogy was centered around one of our favorite quotes from Huey P. Newton, that is still relevant in 2017.
As my good friends Brian and Lurie Favors have said many times, descendants of enslaved Africans need an education that is different than the education of the descendants of those enslaved and oppressed Africans. If we are to change what Newton so eloquently described, we must get to work now and dive deeply into youth culture.
Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to like, comment and share.