Rollingstone Magazine recently interviewed KRS-One (Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everything), about his trip to an Arizona public high school that violated state law by teaching his lyrics. KRS-One is one of the originators of rap music/hip hop in the 1970s, and wrote a book about the history of the musical genre. In this interview, he talks about perceptions of hip hop and its role in the African American community and American history.
READ HERE: KRS-One V. Arizona
Some questions to think about as you read the interview:
1) What does KRS-One see as the function of teaching ethnic studies?
2) What is Arizona’s purpose in banning ethnic studies? Is their stated purpose the same as their actual purpose?
3) What is the wider political climate in Arizona surrounding the ethnic studies ban? How does the influx of Latino immigrants inform your understanding of the purpose of the law?
4) What does KRS-One mean by “collectivism”? What does the state of Arizona mean by promoting “the treatment of pupils as individuals”?