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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjecti agree
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=30309&mesg_id=30327
30327, i agree
Posted by B, Tue Apr-26-05 02:35 PM
my mentor in in grad school, who i now work closely with, posed the question "what does it take to raise the village?"

that's the question that i think the hip-hop community - however we define this - has to ask itself.

given that over half of our homes have a single parent, that many of our young black males (and females) are doing time, the homicide rates, etc., etc., what does it take to raise a village that will produce a safe and nurturing environment for our youth? i think hip hop is a core element of this village, b/c i know as a kid, and even into adulthood, it has empowered me, and given me a voice, but we have to be clear on "the other side of the game." we can't continue to ignore the downsides, especially when it concerns out kids. and at the same time, we must be careful to create safe, responsive spaces for this dialogue. i'm not going to attack ying yang for the whisper song, or view them as the enemy. that's the trap that we always seem to fall in. we can waste time and create divisions by battling each other; we need to realize that we're on the same team, but it's a team w/o vision, goals, and a plan.

my folks did a good job in creating a traditional 2-parent village, w/ extended support (god parents, cousins, etc). it wasn't perfect, but the strength came from the home. a lot of kids aren't getting that now, or don't get exposure to a wide variety of experiences. hip hop isn't helping. it often reflects the same despondent reality that the rapper says he/she's trying to escape, or paints a hyper-sexualized/materistic dreamworld that neither the rapper nor the listener has grasped (and even if that have, it's no indication that all of life's problems will be solved).

what does it take to raise the villages that our kids need? what do those villages look like? will hip-hop be part of the solution or part of the problem - it can't fence straddle.