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Brian Knowles Educator

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Brian Knowles of African, African American, Latino, and Gender Studies for the School District of Palm Beach County discusses courses for Florida students.

Exploring Hip Hop as Literature. The most revolutionary art form in American culture, Hip Hop is misrepresented as glorifying criminal activity and negative elements plaguing impoverished communities which affects youth, adversely. Students focus on social, political, cultural, and spiritual elements of Hip Hop by analyzing lyrics. They study Hip Hop history, examining social, economic, and political conditions that influenced its development and evolution. Students create their own expressions, integrating personal experiences with course content.  

Examining the African American Experience in the 20th Century Through Music and Visual Arts. African American art defined the tumultuous 20th Century in US history when changes in the social, economic, and political arrangements of African Americans were relegated by de facto and de jure segregation. Students examine music and art, are introduced to the narrative of the people, explore jazz, blues, R&B, gospel, Rock & Roll, and Hip Hop, and discuss what led to the creation and impact of James Brown’s Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud and Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. They are exposed to art by Gordon Parks, Emory Douglas, and Ernie Barnes and analyze and interpret these works within the context of US history.