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Matters of Black Popular Culture in Educational Leadership


by Darius D. Prier — December 10, 2015

This commentary advocates the use of Black popular culture in the field of educational leadership to address contemporary concerns of urban youth. Representations of what Black life means for urban youth is heavily mediated by popular culture, for better and worse. The influence of rap artists or athletes in the entertainment industry; homicides in the Black community; or the recent police brutality cases unfolding in national news impacts urban youth in school culture. How youth represent their experiences in popular culture is of consequence to school leaders committed to social transformation of public life in urban education. At a time in which youth protest “Black Lives Matter” on social media and the streets, the standardization of traditional educational leadership theories, based in Taylorism, have become all but irrelevant to the human condition of Black youth. This article deploys the use of film, music, comedy, and sports as discursive institutions by which educational leaders can become familiar with the sociocultural realities of urban youth in popular culture. The pedagogy of non-hegemonic Black popular culture enables educational leaders to discover how urban youth represent their identities; negotiate their agency; and seek empowering possibilities in their future.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: December 10, 2015
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18831, Date Accessed: 10/17/2017 3:27:05 AM

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About the Author
  • Darius Prier
    Duquesne University
    E-mail Author
    DARIUS D. PRIER is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership, School of Education, Duquesne University.
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