I’ve showed this in class for two years now. I justify showing it when going over slam poetry, acting tools, etc. I teach in a small, rural town. Most of my students have never been to Chicago. We do a have a small gang problem and I use that phrase loosely. While saying that though, I want to make it clear that when you’re affected by a gang it never feels like a small problem, and the word loosely doesn’t make any sense. What I wanted to say is that they cry (middle school boys and girls). My students, universally, love this video in a way that’s heartbreaking. It reaches them in a way the news doesn’t. It makes them love poetry. This video series makes them love poetry. How these boys talk is universal. Slam poetry is beautiful. Their particular message is important and creates a dialogue in my class about gangs, dying young, it opens them up to world outside of themselves that’s still relate-able. We also talk about racism and classism. I love this video.