At first, I wondered if I could use this in the classroom. A huge majority of my students would really connect with this poem, and his use of tone shifts make it ripe for analysis beyond the obvious connections to some of the American Literature texts we teach. Then, I wasn't so sure. We'll see once I get to Huck Finn how I want to discuss that word, and how I want to counteract the 235 times Mark Twain uses it in his classic novel so that it's not just a long-dead white male giving his perspective on that word.
Either way, it's a great poem and a great performance. Wow. Def Poetry Jam is a cultural treasure.
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