Spiritualizing Hip Hop with I.C.E: The Poetic Spiritual Narratives of Four Black Educational Leaders from Hip Hop Communities




Maston, Alexis C.

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This qualitative study explored how four Black educational leaders from Hip Hop communities used their spiritual narratives to inform their individual and community empowerment practices in their workplaces, communities and personal lives. Their acts of spiritualized empowerment were driven by esteem, resilience, growth, community and change and grounded in a Hip Hop/spiritual mindset. This arts-based collaborative study which was situated in the fields of adult education and educational leadership, included myself and three other collaborative DJ’s (co-researchers) who hailed from Hip Hop communities. We developed our individual and collaborative spiritual narratives by using poetic narrative analysis wherein the transcripts and other data such as spiritual REEL life maps were developed into poetry and then further analyzed. Data collection methods were ciphers, freestyle interviews, blogs, and document artifacts. Using the Individual and Community Empowerment (I.C.E.) framework (Travis & Deepak, 2011) five mini-narratives were derived from the analysis of the various data sources: spiritual parenting, spiritual progression, the profane is spiritual the church is missional, hustle or live trying and new waves of digital. Lastly, we arrived at new frameworks of understanding for future inquiries of those from these communities: Hip Hop educational leaders, Hip Hop methodologies and Hip Hop spirituality were theorized upon at the completion of the study.



Adult Hip Hop culture, Hip Hop, Educational Leadership, Adult Education, Spiritual Narratives, Spirituality, Hip Hop communities, Individual and Community Empowerment, Poetry, Poetic Narrative Analysis, Arts Based Collaborative Inquiry, Hip Hop Methodology


Maston, A. C. (2014). Spiritualizing hip hop with I.C.E: The poetic spiritual narratives of four black educational leaders from hip hop communities (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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