Friday, December 3, 2010

Hip-Hop as part of black culture

Black Culture, more explicitly than many other cultures, is dependent and inseparable from its music; music is used in rituals of all ages and as a monitor for the people’s state of being. Knowing this, as well as the fact that Hip-Hop is music, Hip-Hop is an irreplaceable part of Black culture.
When one sees the role that music has played for Africans in the Diaspora it becomes ever-clearer that the tales of dehabilitation and misery as well as those of hope and love that come from Hip-Hop are the results of music’s role in the Black community. But when confronted with this statement many take aim at the negative messages shown in the media through use of our music, claiming that Hip-hop is hurting the Black community and is a cancerous part of our culture. This cannot be true. When a human body is infected with a disease that disease is visible through the effects shown by one (or many) of its organs. The body, representing Black culture, and the organs, elements of that culture, must comply to that very same system; when Black culture is under attack by a hoard of vices, greed, jealousy, and pride to name a few, it is through music that we make ourselves aware of the attack.
We must be solution oriented. When one has a headache the cause of the headache is what must be addressed, however in America we seek to hide the side-effects because they are the initial sources of pain. Instead of following this mode of operation and black-listing Hip-Hop because it is painful, we must identify the cause(s) of this pain; we must protect our culture from assimilation and heed the warning that Hip-Hop is providing.

Tribute to Sojourner Truth and Kwame Nkrumah

“The beauty of a woman is nothing to be taken lightly.”
~anonymous
During today’s lecture I was struck bluntly by the spirit of love. A woman so loved a man…a man so loved a woman…and so on. It was this spirit that carried the message and the honorable mention of these two great individuals to me.
As he spoke about Sojourner Truth and Kwame Nkrumah I was taken aback not by my appreciation, but rather my vision of the God in all of us. I say this because human beings have so many differences, so many variables that can cause division and animosity, yet when there is love we transcend our own flesh and soar; even to the point of physically carrying others to freedom.
Justice was the centering topic of the discussion, but I see no such thing as every existing; I do not believe in the concept of justice as an entity in its own. Do not be fooled by these words however into thinking that I am a hardened hearted individual who doesn’t believe in a concept because of the world’s cruelty, for my understanding is the quite opposite. I don’t see it because in my eyes and my heart ‘justice’ is just a side effect of love. As I sat absorbing information in this crowded auditorium I grew in my understanding of love and how it compels us to be just, merciful, and all the adjectives we so often use in our description of God. It is this God within us that shows itself when we truly love, seeking the best for others as we do ourselves, as Sojourner Truth and Kwame Nkrumah proved with their never-yielding pursuit of justice (love) and their infinite humanity.
I pray I will show such courage when faced with my great love and that it will be purged of its vanity and selfishness in order for me to be a light in the dark for all to see; in order for me to truly see our beauty and that of the world.