Bavu Blakes is a Scholar Emcee deliberately walking through the intersection of Hip Hop, education, and spirituality. He is a humanities teacher, servant–leader, and award-winning musician whose studio collaborators include Grammy winners Adrian Quesada, Symbolyc One, and Gary Clark, Jr., as well as people’s champ Paul Wall.
Blakes’ research goals center the various ways that the Hip Hop generation leverages its resources for today’s generation. He presented emerging insights about anti-racist solidarity, English teacher agency, literacy of racism, and curricular choices within a linguistically and culturally diverse classroom with University of Texas at Austin Language and Literacy PhD candidate Alina Adonyi Pruitt at NCTE 2016 in Atlanta. Their findings from this participatory action research were also presented at AERA 2017 in San Antonio and LRA 2017 in Tampa, Florida. Blakes spent the past two years researching how weekly student-driven school assemblies affect the culture and climate of his middle school learning community.
As a practicioner, Mr. Blakes is a curriculum and instruction specialist and campus leader whose facilitation of teaching and learning via writing, reading, listening, and speaking extends beyond classrooms to school and community assemblies, concert venues, workshops and events serving youth, men, teens, and families, as well as faith communities. Accordingly, Austin mayor Steve Adler proclaimed April 23, 2015, as Bavu Blakes Day to a capacity crowd at City Hall.
Mr. Blakes (M.Ed, Educational Administration, UT-Austin) has received several awards for his scholarly work, including the 2016 E4Youth Educator of the Year, 2017 KLRU Graduate Champion, 2017 Decker Middle School Teacher of the Year, and 2017 UT-Austin Martha C. Ovando Outstanding Student Leadership Award . He serves his wife, Tifani, who holds a PhD from UT-Austin’s Cultural Studies in Education program, their son Ellison, and infant daughter Eliana.