L.A. Times, Erika Hayasaki, “Reading, ‘Riting and Rap”

[…] Nancy Brodsky, 23, a teacher at Samuel Gompers Vocational Technical High School in New York’s South Bronx, has her ninth-grade students listen to a song by Dead Prez before reading George Orwell’s 1945 fable “Animal Farm,” the classic commentary on the Russian Revolution.

The rap song “Animal in Man” is based on Orwell’s use of animals to represent figures such as Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. In both works, a group of pigs seizes power on a farm and turns on the other animals. The creatures then revolt against the boss pig, Hannibal.

The last verse in the Dead Prez song says:

They took his tongue out of his mouth.
And cut his body up for sale, for real.
You better listen while you can.
It’s a very thin line between animal and man.

When Hannibal crossed the line, they all took a stand.
What would you have done? Shook his hand?
This is the animal in man.

Good work, Nancy.

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