Hip Hop Youth Activism

Introduction

Here at The Freechild Project we have heard a lot of talk about hip hop activism. Some people refer to hip hop as a tool for social change, others see it as a degrading force that alienates communities.  Young people are using hip hop culture to reach and teach their communities about social justice and taking action. 

 

Point to Ponder

"Activism, attackin' the system, the blacks and latins in prison Numbers of prison they victim lackin' in the vision... Sh-- and all they got is rappin to listen to..." - Talib Kweli, Get By

 

Resources

The following resources are websites and publications we have identified that can help young people and adult allies understand and engage in hip hop activism.

 

Organizations & Websites

 

Mobilized 4 Movement

in response to the rising social inequalities and human rights abuses perpetrated against people, the Los Angeles based organization, Mobilized 4 Movement (M4M) is born. M4M is committed to fostering awareness about the current realities facing the Hip-Hop generation. Our goal is to inform, teach, and mobilize the masses for social change.
 

Speaking Truth is Power

A nonprofit organization committed to empowering youth by providing political information online, on TV thru Cousin Jeff's show on BET (Rap City), a speaker's bureau, and other multi-media projects.

 

National Hip Hop Political Convention

A national gathering of the hip-hop generation to vote on, adopt and endorse a political agenda for the hip-hop generation. This is a political event for the hip-hop generation. We are using the historical/ cultural framework of hip-hop as a rally cry for organizing and mobilizing young people to develop a political agenda and get them involved in electoral politics on the local, state and federal level.
 

Hip-Hop Theater Festival 

Our mission is to support new artists and their creations, to encourage theatrical self-expression among young people within local communities, and to develop audiences that have not been engaged by traditional theater. A variety of theatrical forms are included, theater, dance, spoken word and live music sampling, to express the diversity of human experience through Hip Hop culture.

 

Urban Think Tank
Urban Think Tank uses scholarly activism to give vice to members of the Hip-Hop generation and influence public policy by providing a forum for discussion of Hip-Hop music, culture and politics.

 

The Midnight Forum 

Empowers youth to generate positive changes through Hip-Hop within their communities. They believe in individuals and communities to unify the ideas and resources of society.

 

Hip Hop Summit Action Network

Founded in 2001, the HSAN is dedicated to harnessing the cultural relevance of Hip-Hop music to serve as a catalyst for education advocacy and other societal concerns fundamental to the well-being of at-risk youth throughout the United States. Don't know how youth-led it is, but its worth a look-see.

 

Project Hip Hop (Highways into the Past: History, Organizing & Power)

In the '90s a diverse group of high school students from Massachusetts journeyed on a 5,000 mile civil rights tour throughout the South. On their return, they have shared their experiences with nearly ten thousand of their peers in hundreds of schools and community groups around the state, focusing on the socially transforming role played by youth in the 1950s and 1960s and on the Movement's "unfinished business."

 

The Youth League of Hip-Hop Activism

211 S. 4th St, Brooklyn, New York, 11211. A group of 10-15 youth members of El Puente’s Leadership Center. The Leaguers use the information learned during their leadership seminars to mobilize young people to create concrete change in the areas of social, economic and political justice. Components of the Youth League include Stictly Skillz Seminars, Presentations, Event Production, The Hip-Hop Alliance, a Conscious Clothing and Accessory Line and The Written Word.

 

The Source Youth Foundation

Based on the recognition that young people should have support, encouragement and opportunities to pursue a positive lifestyle, the foundation's goal is to help at-risk youth make constructive choices, develop skills and achieve self-sufficiency.

 

Publications and Media

 

Mobilizing the Hip Hop Generation

 

What is Hip Hop Activism?

An article critical of the jargon and lack of definition behind hip hop activism.

 

Move the Crowd—The Emergence of Hip-Hop Activism

A webpage including Real Media files from a forum where several experts provided evidence and examination of hip hop activism.

 

Time to Elevate: Hip Hop Resists War and Terror

From Alternet/Wiretap

 

Hip Hop Activism Spreads in Chicago

 

Younger Activists Use Music to Get the Message Out

 

No More Prisons: Urban Life, Homeschooling, Hip Hop Leadership, The Cool Rich Kids Movement, A Hitchhiker's Guide to Community Organizing, and Why Philanthropy is the Greatest Art Form of the 21st Century.
By William Upski Wimsatt.

 

Bomb the Suburbs

By William Upski Wimsatt.

 

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