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One’s identity is always forming based on past social and cultural experiences. In this article, the author utilizes the notion of identity and figured worlds to capture and discuss the “multiple identities” of Spiritual, an African American male. By illustrating how Spiritual critically analyzed his figured world via spoken word, the author demonstrates the importance of empowering dispossessed youth to be able to critique and examine the material conditions of their lives through “unsanctioned literacies” or “ill-literacies”. Therefore, through this case study, the author explains how we can better engage oppressed students through the power of spoken word poetry—which enables them to critically examine their lived experiences, to challenge and question the harsh realities of everyday life, and helps them find their voice.
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- From a Gangsta to a Spoken Word Poet: The Multiple Identities of Spiritual
Shiv R. Desai
- Springer Netherlands