Lansing Eastern students ‘find common ground through the lens of hip-hop’

Lansing Eastern High School freshman Nautikah Garcia can easily drop the names of dozens of hip-hop and rap artists throughout the past five decades:  “Jay-Z, Amy Winehouse, Aaliyah, Big Gee, 50 Cent, Rihanna, Tupac …

“They’ve influenced pop culture, language, fashion and even a women’s movement for the past 50 years,” she said.

Under the guidance of Robyne Muray, an English teacher at Lansing Eastern High School, Garcia and more than 60 fellow Honors English freshmen and sophomores turned a project-based learning exercise into a hip-hop museum and dance performance.

They presented their work to fellow students and parents on Friday afternoon.

“The way our students engaged and used their voices and shared power to find common ground, the whole design (museum) and the second component (performance) makes me really happy,” Muray said.

Student-created displays featuring the history and impact of hip-hop culture lined the hall to Eastern’s auditorium. The makeshift museum featured the timeline of hip-hop and educational storyboards featuring hip-hop artists and the ways they’ve influenced pop culture.

“They found common ground through the lens of hip-hop,” Muray said, “and learned they are a force to be reckoned with.” 

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