Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Who Are The Rest of Y'all? (On Dr. Emdin's For White Folks ...) | The Jose Vilson

Who Are The Rest of Y'all? (On Dr. Emdin's For White Folks ...) | The Jose Vilson:

Who Are The Rest of Y’all? (On Dr. Emdin’s For White Folks …)

Emdin-ForWhiteFolksWhoTeachintheHood (1)

First, it’s important to note that I’ve been following Dr. Christopher Emdin’s ascent into superstar academic. From the hip-hop pedagogy classes he organized at Columbia University’s Teachers College and the collaborations with Wu-Tang Clan elder statesman GZA to conferences in South America and rendezvous with Kendrick Lamar, the dapper dandy reppin’ the Bronx has made this “work” look easy. (Note: it’s not.) What’s most captured me is that, despite the plethora of praise he’s received from Harvard University and the American Education Research Association to the Department of Energy and the White House, he has found time to wage war with both ideas and the figures who espouse said ideas. He doesn’t simply resort to calling them haters, but uses the academic language he inherited on the way to his doctorate to address and redress.
Which is why Dr. Christopher Emdin’s For White Folk Who Teach In The Hood … and the Rest of Y’all Too was so fascinating, not because he names names, but because he avoids names and focuses intently on ideas. For all of y’all: past, present, and future.
For those who’s been “doing the work” for some time, this book is a conglomerate of influences like Gloria Ladson-Billings (culturally responsive teaching), Lisa Delpit (analogizing the struggles of a people outside of his personal experiences to explicate his people more directly), Paulo Freire (bringing in students’ knowledge to make them the teachers and thus activating their knowledge), and, yes, John Dewey. But, as we know, John Dewey didn’t truly believe that progressive pedagogy rested in the hands of people of color, so the boulder that other academics like the aforementioned as well as Pedro Noguera, Sonia Nieto, Antonia Darder, and Angela Valenzuela keeps rolling with Emdin and the up-and-comers he stands to usher in. If you’re in this category, reading the book feels conversational, familiar, and will either affirm what you already believe and / or help Who Are The Rest of Y'all? (On Dr. Emdin's For White Folks ...) | The Jose Vilson:

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