Just when I’m down on the education machine, politics and the world in general. As being a place that will suck our souls dry. From time to time I come across a person or a story that reminds me that there are people in this world who want to just help their fellow man. The story of Quan Neloms is just such a story. An educator who is working to reach his students anyway he can and getting the most out of them for his work.
He is a teacher at Detroit’s Frederick Douglas Academy in Detroit. An all male high school near the center of the city. It is special to me, because Frederick Douglas Academy was originally Murray-Wright High School in the Detroit Public Schools district. Murray-Wright is my high school alma mater. When I watch Mr. Neloms’ video of him working with his students to learn or create rap lyrics which is teaching them to read, I was overjoyed. It gave me flashbacks of when I walked through those same halls and my friends and I would learn the rap lyrics of Run DMC, LL Cool J, Eric B. and Rakim and many others. Then we would take what we developed and apply it to some of our English assignments. And just like Quan, we had a couple of teachers who embraced our creativity.
It warms my heart to see a great teacher bring this type of outreach to his students and take it to the next level. We can all learn alot from him. We can learn to rap again. But more importantly, we can learn to talk to our children and meet them where they are. Please read his story and check out the video of a couple of today’s educators using hip hop to educate students:This Detroit Teacher Uses Hip Hop Literacy to Engage His Students and the Community.