the important and the not-so-important, horribly conflated.

Hist. w/o Context, ctd.

In human behavior on February 19, 2010 at 6:07 pm

I forgot to mention the picture that accompanied the NYT  Texas Board of Ed article:

I teach Saturday School at KIPP Philadelphia, a charter Middle School that gives kids who are often 2 or 3 years behind grade level a chance to be successful in competitive high schools.

I teach “US History & Music.” We’ll be discussing slave narratives and spirituals tomorrow. By the spring, we’ll be discussing Jay-Z’s “Black President”  and maybe getting around to spin some Wale tunes.

My basic message to the kids is this: like even the most simple song—say, a solo  acappella performance, in which one can still detect numerous and diverse rhythms and textures—history is multilayered, and is made visible and lived through contrast and context.

I will tell them that this picture confirms that Hip Hop means something—it is a response to and repudiation of the culture represented by those behind the podium, forcing this group to attack the idea that it should be taught in public schools.


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