Do people know that race works like a language? The first part of this presentation is an answer to this question, where I show theoretically how race works exactly like a language, with its own syntax, morphology and phonology. Race speaks, I am arguing, it speaks us as much as we speak it. The second part of my presentation is to link these arguments to pop culture and in turn link the two (race and pop culture) to the nice field of ESL. It is high time, I will conclude, that we engage race and pop culture in our ESL classrooms, and I will offer a concrete unit plan that does exactly that. Come and see how pop culture, namely Hip-Hop, can be engaged in an ESL classroom. WORD!
Awad Ibrahim is the Air Canada Professor in Anti-Racism at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. He is a curriculum theorist with special interest in anti-racism and social justice, youth culture, hip-hop, diasporic and continental African identities, and applied linguistics. His most recent books include, Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian academy: Teaching, learning, and researching while Black (2002, co-edited with Tamari Kitossa, Malinda Smith and Handel Wright) and Disruptive learning narrative framework: Analyzing race, power and privilege in post-secondary international service learning (2022, co-edited with Manu Sharma and Andrew Allen).