Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name



Education Evaluation and Research

First Advisor

Karen L. Tonso


This study examines the relationship between black identity, hip hop culture and relevance to the schooling of black youth through an analysis of existing literature and more so, African American youths sense of these connections. In so doing, it analyzes the various ways in facilitating black youths resistance and disengagement within the educational system in an attempt to narrow the achievement gap between African American students and their white counterparts. Hence, four questions guide this study: How do urban young adults affiliated with hip hop think and talk about the storytelling aspects and notions of self association with hip hop? To what extent might African Americans experience hip hop as social resistance? How have urban youth associated with hip hop think and talk about the place of school in their lives, experiences with public schooling and it's relevance to their lives? What might their vision/advice for connecting hip hop youth with schooling be? In due course, I believe this study will help educators unravel the complexities of hip hop culture and incorporate this new information into efforts to reach young black teens in urban schools.

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