Spoken Word Artists Giving Their Point of View on Education, School & Academia
Slam Poetry is really pervasive on YouTube - there are hundreds of thousands of videos globally, and more added every day. But if you search for "slam poetry" or "slam poems" in YouTube, there is a ranking algorithm in play, and generally some very popular, highly viewed and more recent videos will consistently appear at the top of the list.
If you search in what is known as "The Long Tail", you tend to find some serious hidden gems. Without too much explanation, searching in the long tail means adding descriptors to your search query. So instead of searching for "slam poetry", I might search for "slam poems about heroin addiction" or "religious slam poems", etc.
I read an article today that prompted me to search for slam poems about education (and a couple variations on that term), academia and schools in general. I found some really great and much-less-viewed poems that I wanted to share (I often skipped the first 3 pages of results to dig in even further). Some of these I wanted to share because the performance is stellar, others have a really powerful and well-articulated message, and some are a combination of both.
Slam Poems About Education, Education Systems and School Systems
Kevin Burke...ummm...fuck yeah. No comments, just watch.
Malachi Byrd (DC Youth Poetry Slam / Split This Rock) delivers a thought-provoking, grammatically stitched shot at the American education system through his slam poem "Intelligence". Actually, it goes beyond that - in my opinion, this tells society "fuck you and your beliefs, I can make shit happen. I can do anything I want because I have the tools and I know how to use them."
If you think about what Nytesia Ross, a 19-year-old from Texas, is saying in her piece "Teach Me", its actually heartbreaking. But it resonates true, and her personal story is one that can probably be told about a scary percentage of schools around the nation.
Malcolm London deserved to have a TED Talk. This slam poem is not only beautiful, but powerful. It talks in metaphor about diversity, challenges and hope. He's got some really fluid lines; you can hear the authenticity in his voice and feel it through his disposition. Check out "High School Training Ground"
Last, but definitely not least, is a poem called "Algebra" by Joice (Joiceisawesome). I love the questions this poem possesses. Its written with true passion, an hint of anger and some sure-fire facts, realities and truths. Hope you enjoy this, I definitely did!
The education system is a great topic for inspiration on slam poems. Its one of those social issues that sparks millions of different opinions - none of which are wrong, yet all of which are different. If you've never written a slam poem about schools, education, academia or any of the branches from those trees, give it a try!
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