Identity is complicated, and changes depending on who you are and where you are. In our country, identity is directly tied to power and some are afforded privileges and others have disadvantages. This course will study identity as a social construct, and will go into further depth on race. Students will study the complications and nuances that go into the formation of identity and race, historical injustices and responses tied to it. We will study redlining, and a specific chapter of history, the South Bronx in the 1960’s. Rap music is currently the most successful music genre, even having small ripples in the country music world. Its origins, often overlooked due to the multi-faceted nature of the music, is a culture with a rich history rooted in social justice, giving a voice to the voices that were silenced. Its origins in the South Bronx, and its usage as a platform in response to social inequity, is often overlooked. Rap is a platform used worldwide to express a specific message. However, its role in academia, and in music in general, is often polarizing. We will do a specific study in rap as a form of response to systemic racism. By interacting with this curriculum, students engage in ethical reflection, in a safe space, finding a platform for their voice, learning content that’s relevant to current day. They will engage in informed conversations about race and equity, producing creative and analytical writing, while significantly improving their analytical reading and writing skills.
(Developed for English: Race and Membership, grades 11-12; recommended for English and History, grades 11-12)