the hip hop generation-bakari kitwana

“Nevertheless, the hip-hop generation has seen its share of wars. Many young African American soldiers have served in one or more missions of the 1980s and 1990s, including the invasion of Grenada, the Persion Gulf War, and engagements in Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Inevitably, many of them struggle with the contradiction of fighting to secure democracy and free-market economics abroad, while they lack opportunities themselves at home and neglected Black communities in center cities remain likened to war zones. “I just can’t stop thinking about how all the money that we will be spent on this operation could be put into our communities, doing stuff to better our situation,” said Samuel Everett at the start of the U.S. military involvement in the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia in 1996, voicing a growing concern of hip-hop generationers who’ve enlisted in the military. “Everyone should know you gotta take care of home first.” (31)

can we please please please start talking about mental health issues? please?


3 thoughts on “the hip hop generation-bakari kitwana

  1. “In Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (Verso, 1999), Christian Parenti details the ways that sex-both forced and consensual-is part of prison life, with transsexual, straight, and gay men forced into submissive sexual roles by stronger men, as well as the degree to which rape is condoned by the prison administration: “A conservative estimate is that roughly 200,000 male inmates in America are raped every year, and many are raped daily. The group Stop Prisoner Rape estimates the real figure to be closer to 290,000, noting that most investigations into the scope of sexual terror in prisons and jails do not count inmates who have sex after pairing off for protection, and usually ignores the much higher rates of rape at juvenile facilities.” (79)

    i remember when i was first hipped to the prison industrial complex, but this is some next level ish-about the rising numbers of HIV/AIDS cases. there are no coincidences.

  2. “Arsenio Hall, a baby boomer, serves as a point of reference. Hall had one of the hottest late night shows in town until he went against the grain in inviting Minister Louis Farrakhan to appear as his guiest in March 1994. Two months later, the show was canceled, with network executives citing low ratings due to the return to David Letterman to CBS. And when the Reverend Jesse Jackson staged a protest of the Oscars in 1996 due to the Academy Awards’ repeated failure to acknowledge Black talent, few actors or actresses supported him. (That year, 165 of 166 nominations went to whites.) The message is clear to today’s would-be and established professional Black athletes and entertainers: there are no activists here. It is a message that begins within the profession but along the way gets transmitted to legions of fans and supporters. Its pervasiveness is a landmark, however inglorious, of this generation.
    Influence of popular culture aside, the gains of the civil rights/Black power generation were so large and transformative that that historic period has come to define what activism is. The civil rights movement is extensively debated and taught in our schools and is commemorated during holidays and observances like Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month, year after year. Future movements are impossible to conceive and activism that produced significant social gains prior to the 1950s and 1960s has been all but forgotten. Current forms of struggle that go outside the civil rights box are ignored or deemed meaningless.” (152-3)

    this is very interesting and the first time i’ve heard of arsenio being cancelled because of hosting farakhan (the send-off was one helluva posse freestyle, though). although is it a bit much to refer to him as a “baby boomer?”

  3. late to the game. there’s much i missed as a canadian-and as a yoot. but hey, that’s further evidence that books only get more value as they’re read and re/read. glad i pulled this from the prince site:

    more on this book forthcoming in an entry for pound, and hopefully i can speak to the author on his latest book on activism in the obama era.

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