An Examination of the Kanye West Higher Education Trilogy

“A closer examination reveals that West is offering critiques of higher education discourse and practices that are especially important for those within and outside of the academy to acknowledge. Specifically, he is critical of a continually perpetuated mis-education about the purposes and benefits of college: the narrow and unrealistic ways in which we conceptualize and validate the path to economic success as inextricably linked to college, the fallacious and dangerous insider|outisder dichotomy that permeates much of our discourse on the matter, the low expectations for black males when it comes to education, success, and communal value, and finally, the sometimes mundane and arbitrary bureaucratic aspects of college. In this essay, I argue that academics must confront and begin to mitigate these critiques in order to reconcile some of the tensions, real or imagined, that exist in the relationship between the academy and various peoples and communities, especially thsoe existing on the margins.”
—Dr. Heidi R. Lewis in “An Examination of the Kanye West Higher Education Trilogy” from The Cultural Impact of Kanye West (edited by Julius Dion Bailey)