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Abstract or Description

In the 21st century, it is nearly impossible to travel a region of the world without encountering forms of hip-hop music and culture. Since its birth within the streets of New York in the 1970s, hip-hop has been transformed from a local youth movement to an international phenomenon (Boyd, 2002, Chang, 2005, Lamont Hill, 2009, Emdin, 2010). Within urban pockets, hip-hop has become a tool for empowerment for disenfranchised young people who oftentimes, have received inadequate education, poor health care, and low access to quality food. Some scholars interpret the movement of hip-hop culture around the globe as a “hip-hop diaspora” which shares elements of ethnic constructions of diaspora (Bennett & Peterson, 2004). Scholar of Urban Education, Christopher Emdin, argue the fact that hip-hop is the unified language that many marginalized youth share means it must play a part in how these populations are educated (Emdin, 2010). Indeed, the education of urban youth, particularly of youth of African descent, has a long and troubled history within nations like the United States and Brazil. An increasingly globalized economy and the resulting educational challenges faced by urban youth of color has heightened the desire to find innovative models for resolving the enduring impacts of slavery and social exclusion.


Advisor: Judith Schachter

Department of History

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