What happens when you tie popular culture in with historical and controversial literary texts?

Teacher Brian Mooney decided to find out. He used Kendrick Lamar’s album To Pimp a Butterfly with his freshman English students as they studied Toni Morrison’s novel about a young black girl who yearns to have blue eyes called The Bluest Eye, saying:

“If I pedagogically ignored Kendrick’s album release at a time when my students were reading Toni Morrison alongside articles about Mike Brown, Ferguson, #BlackLivesMatter – and considering the disposability of black bodies in an America that constructs a standard of beauty based solely on whiteness – I would have missed an opportunity to engage them in a pivotal conversation about race, hope, and justice. I would have missed an opportunity to speak to their hip-hop sensibilities – their hip-hop ways of being and knowing. I would have missed a chance to develop a set of profound connections to a popular culture text that is part of their lives.”

This is such an inspiring story on the power of pairing traditional education within the context of today’s society and popular culture texts. Read more about Mooney’s lesson in his blog HERE.