The Spectacle Blog

Is Our Children Learning? Um…No.

By on 12.3.07 | 8:57AM

In the opening paragraphs of "B-Boys of the Bronx, Dancing in the Street," H. Jack Martin relates the thrill he felt watching a break-dance battle--for the uninitiated, see here and here--in my Lincoln Center nrighborhood last year:

"It totally blew my mind," said Mr. Martin, 33, the assistant coordinator of young adult services for the New York Public Library. "We were all just, like, 'We've gotta get this into the library.'"

Yes, by all means, let's get this into...the library. Get out the bass-heavy boomboxes and throw down some cardboard. It isn't as if anyone is attempting to concentrate at the library. More:

Little did he know: Breaking, the individualistic, physical form of dancing born in the South Bronx in the late 1970s as part of an explosion of hip-hop culture, has been a fixture at the library for decades, ever since a pioneering generation of entrepreneurial-minded B-boys brought the art form down to Fifth Avenue just below 42nd Street in the early '80s. It was one of the first points of infiltration for what has since become a cherished staple of Manhattan street culture.

A fixture for decades. I think I'm starting to see where things might have gone wrong with education in this country. (No, Ma, I didn't get my book report done. How was I supposed to? I been at the library! Working on my headspin!) Nevertheless, let us swoon at the New York Times meticulously correct use of the term, B-boy.

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