In the Poetics of Hip Hop, Adam Bradley Finds a Catalyst for Social Change

August 2, 2023

Adam Bradley wouldn’t be a professor or a writer, he says, were it not for his grandmother.

In elementary school, Bradley was very nearly held back when a teacher thought he wasn’t learning to read quickly enough. “They told my family, ‘Adam is the sweetest boy in class, but he’s just not that bright,’” he says.

His grandmother, a beloved high school English teacher, quit her job to educate him at home. She taught him to read in a matter of weeks — and nurtured his budding creative voice. “Some of the first words I ever wrote were poetry,” he says. “She’d put a pad and pencil in my hand and tell me to go out in the yard and describe whatever my senses could find, whether that was the smell from her rose garden or the sight of an airplane cutting a contrail against the sky.”

Read the interview.