Hip Hop as a Tool of Social Justice

Hip Hop as a Tool of Social Justice

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    • 00:05

      [Hip Hop as a Tool of Social Justice]

    • 00:12

      KEVIN COVAL: What about the brutal?I mean, keep the brutal, not the beautifulbecause then you say pretty at the end--16 years, right, the brutal, the strength, and the pretty.

    • 00:19

      STUDENT 1: OK.

    • 00:22

      KEVIN COVAL: Hold the mic-- I want to say city again,but I don't want to say city.You know, hold the mic-- like hold a mic to the gritty.

    • 00:32

      STUDENT 1: Yeah, hold a mic to the gritty.

    • 00:34

      KEVIN COVAL: Hold a mic to the gritty.I am Kevin Coval.I'm a poet and the artistic director of Young ChicagoAuthors and the founder of Louder Than a Bomb, the ChicagoYouth Poetry Festival.Live from the windy, so fly in the city, 16 years rightthe brutal, the strength and the pretty.Hold a mic to the gritty.Amplify the concrete.My mic's like a stereo.

    • 00:54

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: They're [INAUDIBLE].At Young Chicago Authors, we try to use the tool of literatureand public performance to ultimately transformthe educational space for individualsas well as the cultural space for young people in Chicagoand around the country.And we use the tool of spoken word,

    • 01:16

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: of hip hop poetry as an organizing vehicleto do that work.

    • 01:21

      STUDENT 2: My English teacher told methat what made Dr. King's dream speechso bomb was how he could spin an OK accusationinto a thick chant into a solid fact.For example, fact, I go to one of the largest high schoolsin the country.Fact, we have over 200 full-time employed teachers at my school.Fact, out of my three years there as a student,I have seen four black teachers in the entire building.

    • 01:45

      STUDENT 2 [continued]: When I asked the Irish girl why she chose to wear dreadsonce she moved to the west side and started going to poetryslams, she asked why I cared.I was mixed enough to be cultural appropriationpersonified, and I agreed because the waymy [INAUDIBLE] tears is that this flesh iscultural genocide.And I'm getting cold because they're literallystealing my bloodline.

    • 02:05

      KEVIN COVAL: So today we have our semifinalsof Louder Than a Bomb, which is--we've whittled from 120 teams.We've come to 16.And this year, we had, for the first timeever, a quarter finals, where we took from the 120 32 teams.Now from the 32 teams, we've whittled it down to 16.

    • 02:26

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: So in some ways if you imagine the college basketballtournament, you know, March Madness,we like to say this is the real March Madness.We've gotten to 16 teams, 12 individual poetsas well, who are enmeshed in the boutsor in the rounds of those 16 teams.And what we're trying to do todayis determine who will go to our indie finals

    • 02:48

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: and also our team finals.And team finals is a culminating eventwhere over the course of five weeks,we whittle down from 120 to four teams.And so today, the winner of each bout,which is a round of competition-- four teamsin a bout-- we'll crown one winner who will thenadvance to team finals.

    • 03:09

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: And so today, more than anything, I'm a fan, you know,and I'm a champion for what it is they'redoing, what they have to say.Today I trained our semifinal judging crew.There are five judges in each bout.

    • 03:29

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: They are activists and organizers and educatorsand publishers and musicians and writers and poetsand we've asked them to be here to award scores.This is a poetry slam, so they award scores.Whatever you like is why-- you'reasked to be here because of your penchant for arts,but it's subjective.It's what you feel.

    • 03:51

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: The thing that I would encourage you to keep in mindis that it's a poetry slam, so the craft of the languageis what we value the most.You know?It's not an interpretive dance competition.It is not a choreographed cheerleading festival.You know what I mean?It's really about the integrity of the story, of the language,and how it sings in the ear.

    • 04:13

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: I'm a writer and I'm a hip hop kidand I am a fan and a lover of allof the particular narratives that we carrywith us at any given time.And this is all people.All of us carry with us essential storiesthat are worth telling in the public sphere.It's in our festival space, in Louder Than a Bomb,

    • 04:37

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: in our classroom space, in our open mic space every week,or in a workshop space every week.We get to hear the spectrum of young people's experiencein Chicago at this moment.And so it is, in some ways, enactingthe practice of radical participatory democracy.Every moment that we have, then people

    • 04:59

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: who come from different neighborhoods,if we'd let the city planners remain imagining the cityas a segregated enclave of ethnic blocks,we would never hear these narratives in one space.And we're using this tool as a wayto reorganize the city to have voices that typically exist

    • 05:21

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: at the margins of civic discourse at the centerand also to do the work that house music in Chicagothinks of as my friend an educator and house philosopherBoogie MacLaren says, house is a dictum of radical inclusivity,that everybody is welcome.Every body is accepted in the space and all of us

    • 05:45

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: carry those stories, regardless of who we are,regardless of where we come from,and so we do the work of not only tryingto get young people to share those stories,but then do the work of organizingall of those stories in a central space.

    • 05:59

      STUDENT 3: Before I fall with splitlip or purple, yellow, black eye,over hand clenched before they tell me they can't hear me,but this poem must be black girl resilience.It's me telling you, I'm hurt-- right cross.

    • 06:20

      KEVIN COVAL: Hip hop is really the largest global youthculture the planet has ever seen and itwas created by disenfranchised black and brown-- Puerto Rican,mostly-- kids in the South Bronx who had taken-- arthad been ripped from their schools.Their schools had been underfunded.The school's had been closed.

    • 06:40

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: There was a disinvestment in the South Bronx.The Bronx was literally left to burnin a deindustrialized moment in the '70s.And in the rubble and in the chaos and in the fear,young people took culture into their own hands,into their own lives, into their own minds,into their own notebooks, and they started to create.

    • 07:03

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: They started to make art on the canvasthat they had access to, which was concrete or the train.They started to move their bodiesin a way around a particular kind of music,but they didn't have dance floors or dance studios,so they took cardboard from the garbageand they laid it on the concrete and they

    • 07:23

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: innovated breakdancing.You're taught typically to not touch the record player,but they didn't have access to orchestras or symphoniesor jazz bands.They didn't have instruments in the schoolsand so they used the instruments around them,which was the history of recorded music,and they made new music with bits of collaged sounds

    • 07:43

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: in order to create different sonic landscapesfor the whole world to dance differently in.And then the poets started to see what was happeningand they began to, in simplistic couplets,articulate what was happening at the party.Kool Herc, a West Indian Jamaican immigrant

    • 08:05

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: whose parents came to the South Bronxfor a new life in the '60s, started to just say, yes, yes,yaw and it don't stop.And it didn't stop.And Coke La Rock, who was a poet in his-- the first MC in hiphop started to say rhymes, poems, over these breakbeats that Herc and Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster

    • 08:26

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: Flash were beginning to innovate and sharewith the community in the South Bronx.And a culture formed and it brought young people togetherin a space that was violent, but they were using the toolsat hand to also create a space where young people couldbe themselves and be creative.That tool, that export of hip hop culture

    • 08:50

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: from the Bronx to rest of the boroughs in New York,from New York to rest of the country, to rest of the worldhas given young people, going on now four generations, a spaceto be themselves fully.There was the organizing principleof the cypher in hip hop, which is essentiallyan egalitarian social structure where everybody

    • 09:10

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: has the opportunity to contribute as long as you comein the right mindframe, as long as you comewith goodwill and in the right spiritand try to authentically articulate who you areand where you come from.And in that space of the cypher, you have then nota hierarchical structure of a pyramid,but you have an egalitarian social order of the cypher

    • 09:34

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: or of the circle.All right, we've got a low score of an 8.8.

    • 09:41

      ANNOUNCER: We've got 8.9.We've got an 8.9 We've got a 9.0 and a 9.1.Give it up for the [INAUDIBLE].

    • 09:54

      KEVIN COVAL: Louder Than a Bomb started in 2001and part of what happened is that I was running aroundthe city of Chicago from '96 to 2000, 2001,meeting hundreds of young people who were doing this new poetic,this new kind of hip hop poetry or break beat poetry.And I was also performing and younger

    • 10:15

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: at the time and so my students were just a few years youngerthan me and some of what I was trying to dowas also just build a artistic community.And so I was meeting folks from all over the city,but because Chicago is one of the most raciallysegregated cities in the country,they were not meeting one another.And so I was meeting a lot of folks.In 2001, these things happened.

    • 10:38

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: The towers fell and America startedto criminalize brown people around the planetand there was a lot of fear and, you know, paranoid discussionsabout what that meant.It began another foray into endless war.And at the same time, the city of Chicagowas also trying to pass an anti-gang loitering law that

    • 11:00

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: was locking up kids of color for hanging outin groups of more than one.And that violation of the First Amendment right to assemble,we saw manifest in the school to prison pipelineon a weekly basis.I was teaching at alternative high schools and at the topthe week, I would see kids in class.And then at the end of the week, Iwas also teaching at the Cook County Juvenile detention

    • 11:22

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: center.I would see them in County.And knowing that they were literallysitting on their grandma's stoop or hanging outwith their cousin and the block was swooped by copsand then they would be inside, wewanted to use that moment of fearand offer a countercultural narrativeand space to that monolith.

    • 11:43

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: And so we decided to create this night of story and poemand bring young people together across the city.And the festival was titled after a Public Enemy songoff their second record, It Takes a Nation of Millionsto Hold Us Back.I'm a hip hop kid and Chuck D and KRS-One, probably more

    • 12:05

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: than anybody, had me wanting to writeand had me wanting to read.And so in that moment where there was a lot of negativity,we believe that the stories of young peopleor the stories of all people are morepowerful than any weaponry that is used to harmand maim and dehumanize them.

    • 12:25

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: And so we wanted to create a space to do that work.

    • 12:30

      STUDENT 4: We've watered a garden of hatredsince World War II, stuffing big [INAUDIBLE]in the West's expectations and money and heroininto anything trying to change.Big, bloated, bloody poppies bloomed,but anything is better than communism.We traded oil and instability, orchestrated perfect implosions

    • 12:52

      STUDENT 4 [continued]: that made the Middle East safe for the childrenof CIA-trained jihadis.

    • 12:57

      KEVIN COVAL: At the festival, Louder Than a Bomb,we're using a few different pedagogicand also organizing strategies.Saul Alinsky was the Chicago organizerthat started to organize in religious institutionsbecause that's where people were.And so we want to organize in schools because that'swhere students are.And we're also taking the organizing strategy

    • 13:18

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: of Afrika Bambaataa who created the Universal ZuluNation in the South Bronx.Based off of gang structures, he took street organizationsand as opposed to having implements of destructionand harm in young people's hands,he encouraged them to pick up creative implementsto create the largest global youth culture

    • 13:39

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: in the history of the planet.And those two ways to organize a city reallyinfluence the way that we bring young people together,and so we have a crew at Young Chicago Authors of teachingartists, young people who've come through the festival whoare now on the other side of the festival.They have graduated from high school.

    • 14:00

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: Some of them have graduated from college.Some of them have not.Some of them have gone right from high schoolinto the teaching artist program.And they are working in community spacesin high schools located in communities.They work between three high schoolsand they work in the classroom and in the school spaceto create hip hop poetry clubs that fuel

    • 14:22

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: the Louder Than a Bomb team.And in that high school, the work that we're trying to dois to transform the culture of the classroom,to transform the culture of the school,to then ultimately do the organizing workto bring those schools together in that communityto also transform the culture of that community.Part of what we're beginning to seeis that young people, young poets,are walking around their hallways

    • 14:43

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: like they're star athletes, but they're reading a poem.And so the traditional mode of whois on top of the social structure in high schoolis beginning to flip and the nerd, word-nerd kidsare walking the hallways like they just threw the touchdownpass on Friday night.And what that in part is doing isthat is giving young people the opportunity

    • 15:04

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: to say, well my story matters.All that is around me is worth exploring,and actually, the history of all thingsis also embedded within my own experience.If I'm articulating what it's like to bein a particular neighborhood and there is a Starbucks thatappears on my corner that gets at the history of globalization

    • 15:25

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: and world economic history.If there is an abandoned house in my communitythat speaks to the fallout of the economy and housing prices,and if there is a closed school in my neighborhood,that begins to get at this political momentthat young people find themselves immersed in.And I think that young people are incredibly hip.

    • 15:47

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: I think they know exactly what is going on around them,and they know when they've been dealt a bad hand.And so they're using their languageto not only report and comment on the world around them,but they're also unleashing their radical creativeimagination to think about a different realitythan this one.

    • 16:07

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: This world has been thought of.It has been creative.And so it's also on the artist to imaginea world that is more equitable, more just for all people.We talk a lot about this, is that if you changethe culture of a space, if you change the culture of a city,you begin to then also ultimately transform

    • 16:29

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: the politics and the policies that keep peoplefrom one another and also keep young bodies, primarilyof color, incarcerated at an alarming rate.And so I think the work that we're doingis about first changing the cultureand I think now, 16 years in, we'redoing that in the city of Chicago.If you're a young person in this city,

    • 16:50

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: you maneuver and traverse across every imaginable boundarythat typically you would not.And young people are finding their way to one another,to these spaces, and are doing incredibly powerful and bravework.

    • 17:04

      STUDENT 5: Wonder, worried, if I express yourself,would AIDS kill me?Suspicious loving mom lullabies.You can be anything if you want in the world.That's what I like about you.You don't let other people get to you.Set in stone.Dad.Alarms.You can be anything you want in the world, except a faggot.

    • 17:24

      STUDENT 5 [continued]: A real boy, a real man, a real nigger like my dad.I'm named after him, but I'm not right my dad.13 in school, we would treat each other.Look at his [INAUDIBLE] faggot-head ass. [INAUDIBLE]You nigger, ask your girl.We exert this black homophobic patriarchal swag 'cause wereal niggers and real niggers do real things.One of them is hiding from vulnerability.

    • 17:45

      STUDENT 5 [continued]: With [INAUDIBLE] gods [INAUDIBLE].Reassign rolls and my father is supposed to accept me.I live advice he could never put to life.Beginning lines in Paris is Burning--"If you're going to do this, you'regoing to have to be stronger than you ever imagined."This child who hid their private parts from their own eyesight

    • 18:09

      STUDENT 5 [continued]: never forgot those words.Re-imagine, close eyes, take breathes.[CHEERS]

    • 18:20

      KEVIN COVAL: Young people are articulatingthe spectrum of what it means to be alive in this moment,and so you hear everything from the horrible to the hilarious.I mean, you hear what it's like to not like math classand to have a crush on somebody, and you alsoget to hear about what it's like to lose someone to violence.

    • 18:42

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: You get a firsthand narrative from young peoplein neighborhoods that are only demonized via statisticsand the reporting that occurs on national or local mediasources.But in their mouths and their bodies,they are reporting on a different reality

    • 19:02

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: from the perspective that they sit in, live in every day.And so you get to hear from young peoplewhat it's like to be in a neighborhood where they havetheir local school close and they have to now walkacross gang lines that the city knows that they should notbe walking across, and what that means and how that limits,essentially, their mobility, their freedom.

    • 19:24

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: You get to hear about being harassed or worse by policein this city who need to be re-educated very much nowand need to be demilitarized in a lot of ways.You get to hear from young people whatit's like to work a job and also take

    • 19:46

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: care of their younger sibling.And, you know, I mean in this moment, in this city,we're dealing with all of what the country is dealing with.We have a joblessness rate for young men.If you're black in Chicago and you are a young man,92% of young black men are without jobs.

    • 20:07

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: And so part of what we're also trying to dois imagine and create a workforce programwhere young people who come in could thencome out the other side and be employed with us or in artsorganizations across the city.

    • 20:20

      STUDENT 6: One more drop of whitenessso my children won't have too much blackness to bear,so my children will only be the good kind of black, not 13shots to the back black.So my children can carry Skittles in their right pocketand wear a hood on top of their headwithout having to look over their left shoulder.One more drop of whiteness will jerk them

    • 20:41

      STUDENT 6 [continued]: closer to white privilege, further awayfrom the lack of black privilege.Have my children not carry the type of blacknessthat cops like to draw on sidewalks and red line ghettoswhere they mine the streets [INAUDIBLE]our black blood for years.Save my children for me, bitch.You know stamped to overpriced apartment doors, mamabegging for one more month.My children need a home, just one more month.

    • 21:04

      KEVIN COVAL: Our staff now, a lot of them are former studentsand now we work together.They're my peers.Some of the coaches in the festival I'veknown since the beginning of the festival.We've had some coaches who've been around for 16 years.We have a lot of new coaches.And so it's-- every day is something different.

    • 21:24

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: Every day is an opportunity to maybe hearanother piece from a student.A lot of what we do is use contemporary literatureas an example, a source text to generate a story from,a young poet.I do a lot of that work.I do a lot of teaching.I do a lot of writing and recording and reporting

    • 21:46

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: on my own.All of it is this work of trying to generate a narrativespace, a democratic space that accounts for all these stories.In over the course of-- about, typically,like one event is usually about 90 to 100 minutesand in that space, the individual

    • 22:09

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: has only three minutes to speak.Did you get your three minutes?And then in those other 87 minutesor so, you're listening to the storiesof people who are not you, you know, narratives of people whodon't necessarily come from where you come from,people who don't necessarily look like you or they do.And in that process, I think we are making the city a totality.

    • 22:33

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: We're accounting for its wholeness,for its holiness in some ways.And I think that there is a powerthen in having the city grow and shrink in the same momentand to really account for the totality which is Chicago, notjust some of its parts.

    • 22:51

      STUDENT 7: And the pride that youshould feel only ends up being a stomachache like the stirringof ancient blood and something to be sucked, but who are you?Who are you to hold the keys in your hand?You have no more right than I do.The spirits in my own voice, white and brown and angryand tired of being quiet yell to you.

    • 23:13

      STUDENT 7 [continued]: Back my words.Yo soy Alicia, feared viking and Aztec eagle warrior cominghome.I'm on a butterfly resurrected.Not a sin.Not your savior.Just a girl, a woman.I will exist whether it makes you comfortable or not.I will let you know what you can call me.[CHEERS]

    • 23:36

      KEVIN COVAL: Poets in particular, artists in general,we live in the world and it's not art for the sake of artper se, although there's something incredibly importantand beautiful to have a painting that is beautiful,that transforms you as a viewer.

    • 23:58

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: And we have poems that are beautifuljust in terms of the language.But I think the poets at Louder Than a Bomb and partof our approach in the classroom isto have young people engage in civic discourse,that they are actors in this moment of history,that they are writing history, and that they also

    • 24:19

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: need to do the work of documenting their own lives.Otherwise, those lives can be either lied about or untold.And we've seen too often what happens in this country when werely only on the victors of history or we rely onlyon Eurocentric canons of telling the story or making art

    • 24:40

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: or getting the ability to say who has a right to art,who has access to the form, who doesn't.And I think what this is is making a more equitable playingfield and also countering that dominant narrative of whatit's like to be a person in Chicago at this time.If we only relied on the mayor's office, on city hall,

    • 25:01

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: on the tourist board to tell us what Chicago is,then we would only see an image thatis projected to Iowans and folks from overseas, tryingto attract them here to the Magnificent Mile.And what you get then is young people whoare doing the work of saying, this is also my city.I have a stake in it.My family has a right to stay in it,and this is what it's like to be me.

    • 25:22

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: This is what it's like to come from the communitythat I come from.

    • 25:26

      STUDENT 8: My procedure took three daystotal, cold, metal, foreign objects,cramping, screaming, anesthesia, dilating, evacuating,waiting and waiting and waiting for months of denial.I think my body tried to tell me something was wrong.I told myself I was all right.I was right.

    • 25:47

      STUDENT 8 [continued]: I was making the right choice.I made the right choice.I hope I made every right winger [INAUDIBLE] when I exercisedmy feminine right-- our right-- to controlour lives and our bodies.Nobody can call us easy, bitter, killer because right now,one in three women will have done what I did.

    • 26:08

      STUDENT 8 [continued]: Because I am your mother, broke and alone,your sister in the doctor's office,crying on the phone, your best friend,anchored to the bathroom tile or maybe your teacher, the ladywho sat next to you on the train this morning,a girl in your English class.We're everywhere.We're human beings.

    • 26:27

      KEVIN COVAL: In Chicago right nowwe have a city that is radically divided along race and class.Chicago is not one city.It's multiple cities within the cityand if you lived in the Gold Coastor if you lived in Lincoln Park, the truth

    • 26:48

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: of certain communities is a rumor of violence.It's a whisper of some of the hardships and horrors thatexist across the city 10 minutes away, 20 minutes away.I also think that there is-- and wework in every zip code in Chicago

    • 27:08

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: and the truth is that in each community,there is a wide spectrum of experience.Young people in every part of this city laugh and theylove their grandma.And they like hanging out with their friendsand they have crushes on boys or girls or both.

    • 27:30

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: And I think part of what this work is aboutis fully humanizing all people and not restingor remaining in the boundaries that keep us apart,because when we have borders and walls between us,we sometimes misimagine what somebody else islike across the way.And part of what this work is is about tearing those borders,

    • 27:53

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: those boundaries down, making our city incredibly permeable.Not having one or multiple-- not having two or multiple cities,but having one city accounting for Chicago in its wholeness.And in seeing then the total experience,

    • 28:14

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: accounting for the total picture of the city,I think we'll be better equipped to imagine a way forward.

    • 28:22

      STUDENT 9: The boy who strung me along and tied downthe [INAUDIBLE], I'm not going to walk that tightrope.You're not worth the vertigo.To the boy who teased me, the only tease I need in my lifeis Socrates.At least he had something valuable to say,anything to say.You said nothing.You were M-I- A-mazing kisser but I've heard

    • 28:43

      STUDENT 9 [continued]: the same thing about leeches.You drained me like a [INAUDIBLE], like a parasite,like a mosquito.I squish mosquitoes between my fingertipswith a sinister smile.I'm sorry that I sprayed you with Raid the last timeI saw you.

    • 29:00

      KEVIN COVAL: I think this festival and this workis also situated in a legacy thatis a tradition of literature in Chicagothat I think engages in the aestheticof realist working-class portraiture,meaning that much of Chicago art is rooted in watching

    • 29:21

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: the body in labor and commenting and reporting and accountingfor and showing and documenting the body workingbecause Chicago ultimately is a town that works very hard.And in our tradition, in our legacy,we are indebted to the work of Gwendolyn Brooks and Dr.

    • 29:44

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: Margaret Burroughs and Haki Madhubutiand Angela Jackson and Carolyn Rodgers.And if it wasn't for them, there wouldn't be hip hop.There wouldn't be-- before hip hop,there wouldn't be the Watts Prophetsand there wouldn't be the Last Poetsand there wouldn't be Gil Scott-Heron.And if it wasn't for them, there wouldn't be Melle Mel

    • 30:04

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: and there wouldn't be Coke La Rockand there wouldn't be MC Lyte.And if it wasn't for them, there wouldn't be Rakim or KRS-Oneor Big Daddy Kane.And then there wouldn't be Kendrick Lamaror Chance the Rapper or Noname Gypsy.And there wouldn't be these thousands of young peoplewho are running around with notebooks,telling what is most intimate.And it's that tradition that we find ourselves in

    • 30:27

      KEVIN COVAL [continued]: and it's that educational tradition as welland that legacy of art as activism,art as social-cultural tool to fully claim the entire humanityof one's being.That is the work that we're doing.

Hip Hop as a Tool of Social Justice

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Abstract

Interspersed with performances at the Louder Than a Bomb hip hop poetry festival, author and activist Kevin Coval describes the importance of art in changing the world. He traces the history of the hip hop movement back to the 1960s educational failure in the South Bronx. Coval also explains how art empowers youth to see their lives as important and to remake the world.

SAGE Video In Practice
Hip Hop as a Tool of Social Justice

Interspersed with performances at the Louder Than a Bomb hip hop poetry festival, author and activist Kevin Coval describes the importance of art in changing the world. He traces the history of the hip hop movement back to the 1960s educational failure in the South Bronx. Coval also explains how art empowers youth to see their lives as important and to remake the world.

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