Posts Tagged ‘African American’

Episode # 7 is live as we’re joined by Hip Hop artists Ill Camille, Hip Hop publicist DeeDee Branch, Associate Director of Urban Talent at ASCAP Mir Harris, and 14 year old aspiring rapper Page Stevenson. This all-women panel discusses everything from Hip Hop culture and the music business to community activism and social justice. They went deep, spoke truth, and had fun doing it! Also, check out new music by Ill Camille, Akua Naru ft. Dynasty & Sa-Roc, Priest, and Sean Price(RIP). And don’t miss our young MC who spits a dope verse over a classic beat. As always, you can contact both hosts on Twitter at @SebIsHipHop and @ or on InstaGram @TakeNoPrisonersRadio. Spread the word!

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In this exclusive episode, B-Gyrl, Hip Hop activist and founder of HandsUpDontShoot.com reveals how the movement for social justice, from Ferguson to Baltimore, was exploited and co-opted by outside forces. During the first part of the show, she describes the tension in the streets of Ferguson the first few hours following Mike Brown’s murder. B-Gyrl then shares insight into how this grassroots movement against police abuse is being hijacked and funded by wealthy donors and special interest groups in order to shift the movement’s original goals. This is a revealing discussion that explores who the key players are and what they aim to gain from destabilizing the movement. Think mainstream media’s been telling you the truth? Think again! This show is so jam-packed with information we didn’t play any music this time around. So find a quiet place to yourself and tune in for almost 90 minutes of eye-opening information.
Feel free to share your thoughts with the hosts via Twitter at @SebIsHipHop and @_CamilleH.

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Let’s be real. Most Americans have never given two shits about Baltimore’s decaying housing, dilapidated schools, corrupt police force, rising unemployment, lack of proper health care, access to healthy food and overall deteriorating social conditions. When Freddie Gray’s death sparked days of peaceful protest, most Americans, media included, still didn’t give the country’s 26th most populated city, half a thought. It wasn’t until the protest morphed into an explosive uprising, likely triggered by outside forces, that so-called well-meaning citizens around the nation began pretending to be concerned about “rioters and looters destroying their own communities”. Before these events, the only time the general populace even thought about Baltimore’s residents and its crumbling infrastructure was as a form of voyeuristic entertainment on The Wire. Damn hypocrites.

In typical fashion, mainstream media has brushed aside the human element and deeply troubling cause of the unrest, choosing to sensationalize looting and property damage instead. CNN and Fox have written a simplified, more palatable version of the story, giving Americans a diverse cast of characters to distract themselves with. Celebrated and paraded as role models by Conservatives and Democrats alike, white America’s new heroes (at least for the next 15 minutes) include:

* Toya Graham who beat her son live on TV to prevent him from risking his life protesting and became white America’s “Mother of the Year” for doing what they’d secretly like to do to every Black protester. Never mind the fact that CPS is now launching a child abuse investigation.

* Robert Valentine, a 72 year old Vietnam veteran who stood in front of a row of police officers on live TV and told young rioters to “take their butts home”. When interviewed by a CNN reporter, Mr. Valentine said, “I’m not black, white, red or yellow — nothing. I am an American”, a statement sure to warm the spirit of any white person who’s ever pretended to not see color. Anderson Cooper called Valentine a hero.

* An unidentified young boy photographed handing out water bottles to a line of officers in full riot gear. The touching picture quickly went viral, helping “white people who don’t have a single racist bone in their body” realize that “not all Black youth are thugs after all”. Heartwarming, isn’t it?

While I don’t doubt the pure intentions of these individuals for a second, their blatant exploitation is disgusting. The propaganda machine used their likeness to craft a new, more digestible public narrative, strategically pushing the average person to forget the root of the unrest and remember only those “lawless looters and the heroes who helped put an end to the chaos”. Two days later, with relative calm having returned to Baltimore, the Washington Post had the balls to report that Freddie Gray might have severed his own spinal cord. In the meantime, Rand Paul blamed Baltimore’s unrest on “lack of fathers” and Texas GOP Rep. Bill Flores linked Baltimore protests to gay marriage. Thankfully, amidst the distraction tactics, the six police officers who had Mr. Gray in their custody while he suffered fatal injuries have been charged with manslaughter and second degree murder. Maybe breaking windows does work after all.

Will the charges stick? Time will tell but America’s had a poor track record holding law enforcement accountable for their crimes. For now, the media machine is back to business as usual and by next week, Baltimore’s protests will be just another page in mainstream America’s scrapbook. What were those annoying protestors rioting about again? Who cares? The Mayweather vs. Pacquiao event is around the corner. That’s the kind of feel-good fight all Americans can comfortably get behind, right?

This article can also be found at http://raprehab.com/baltimore-media-propaganda-and-how-to-make-white-people-feel-comfortable/

On the 3rd episode of Take No Prisoners Radio, hosts Seb and Camille H discuss the rise of socially conscious mainstream rap, “ratchet rap” and cultural misappropriation. For the second half, Paul Porter, entertainment industry veteran & founder of RapRehab joins the show to reveal the music industry’s dirty secrets. Also, check out new music by Open Mike Eagle, De La Soul ft. Chuck D, RA the Rugged Man and Sa-Roc.

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This is just an illustration, not my actual family.

 

My wife is Black. I’m white. And we’re raising our biracial children to be Black and proud of it.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year…or the past 500 years, America isn’t a big fan of Black people. Sure, some Black celebrities seem to have overcome racial discrimination (at least in public), and Barack Obama’s presidency still manages to deceive “color blind” unicorn chasers into believing that we live in a post-racial society. But in the real world, white supremacy is alive and well, and Black people are still getting the short end of the nightstick.

Every 28 hours (research shows it might actually be less), a police officer or vigilante reminds the world that Black lives don’t matter. Around the nation, countless schools that primarily serve Black students have been forced to close their doors, reminding us that Black children don’t matter. From Brooklyn to Los Angeles, predominantly Black neighborhoods are being gentrified to make room for hipsters who need to be closer to their jobs, reminding us that Black people can be brushed aside when they’re “in the way”. In the meantime, job seekers with names like Keisha or DeShawn have to consider the possibility that their resumes might be thrown away, reminding us that Black identity in its most basic form is enough to trigger fear, discrimination, and hate.

Through mainstream rap music and reality TV, the entertainment industry promotes the worst in racial stereotypes, reminding us that Black lives exist only to entertain. Movies like Exodus erase Black people out of history and replace them with quasi British white people, reminding us that Black people can be conveniently edited out of existence. Black people aren’t even allowed to portray fictional characters, whether it be Idris Alba as the next James Bond or John Boyega as a Black Stormtrooper in the new Star Wars, without a trillion racists screaming bloody murder on talk radio and Fox.com’s comment section, reminding us that Black people have no right to exist even as figments of someone’s imagination.

This is the world in which my biracial children live: a place where Black people are made to feel inferior; a place where mixed kids like mine consider choosing their white side in an attempt to escape the hate they see around them everyday.

But in my household, Black is beautiful. It’s powerful. It’s celebrated. It goes against the popular narrative. It’s a reality my children embrace with pride. It’s their legacy, a link to greatness. It’s the freedom fighters in Ferguson and across the nation who stand on the shoulders of their predecessors. It’s Malcolm and Martin. It’s Bobby and Huey. It’s Bayard Rustin and Fannie Lou Hamer. It’s Yosef Ben-Jochannan, John Henrik Clark, and Frances Cress-Welsing. It’s Assata and Angela. It’s Charles Drew. It’s Marcus Garvey. It’s Ida B. Wells and Mary McLeod Bethune. It’s Lewis Latimer and Benjamin Banneker. It’s Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. It’s the millions who fought for Black survival and dignity. It’s Queen Nzingha and Shaka Zulu. It’s the Ashanti people and the scholars of Timbuktu. It’s Auset and Ausar. It’s Maat. It’s Imhotep. It’s unapologetic Black genius from the inception of civilization, science, medicine, music, poetry, and architecture. It’s the birth of humankind.

It’s Chuck D and Rakim. It’s MC Lyte and Lauryn Hill. It’s Sade and Bob Marley. It’s Curtis Mayfield and Gladys Knight. It’s Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. It’s Fela Kuti and Marlena Shaw. It’s John Coltrane and Billie Holiday. It’s Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, and Langston Hughes. It’s Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. It’s James Baldwin and James Brown. It’s The Last Poets. It’s Chuck Berry and Big Mama Thornton. It’s Paul Robeson. It’s Hip Hop, R&B, Reggae, Rock & Roll, the Blues, Jazz, and Gospel. It’s the drums, the syncopation, the movement, the riff, the scat, the breath itself.

It’s everything the world around them will otherwise teach them to forget about who they are, where they come from, and how much power they possess.

Are they being denied their white side? Of course not. They have half of their loving family to remind them of it and an elaborate global infrastructure set up to maintain it by any means necessary. Their white heritage will be fine. It’s never been jeopardized, compromised, disrespected, disregarded, under-valued, silenced, fetishized (see Iggy), threatened, attacked, or oppressed on a mass scale. The side I’m concerned about is the one that still requires a hashtagged reminder that in 2015, Black Lives Matter. Thankfully, in my household, not a day goes by that my children aren’t reminded of this truth.

Ironically, I know that I must now brace myself for all the hate mail and racist comments I’ll undoubtedly receive as a result of this article. And that’s exactly why my wife and I celebrate our children’s Black heritage. The rest of the world certainly won’t do it for us.

This article can also be found at http://raprehab.com/raising-pro-black-biracial-children/

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On my way to pick up my son from school, emotionally paralyzed, my mind in a fog, I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to tell him that, once again, a Black man’s life wasn’t important enough to charge the officers who savagely killed him, even when the murder was caught on video for the world to see. How will my teenage son respond to this news, only a few days after darren wilson’s tragic non-indictment?  What kind of psychological effect will society’s blatant disregard for Black life have on his self-esteem?

My wife and I have raised our son to be socially-conscious and culturally-aware. We’ve had “the talk” more times than I can count. But is that enough to stop the world from labeling him a “thug” just because he’s Black? He knows how to interact with police to minimize any possible friction, should he ever be randomly stopped. But it’s clear that the police doesn’t always know how to interact with citizens, no matter how harmless they are. But it’s bigger than the cops. My son is painfully aware that the people who make up the grand juries that declined to indict Mike Brown and Eric Garner’s killers aren’t cops but everyday people like teachers, doctors, bus drivers, grocery store workers, housewives, moms, dads, and other common folk. Is his life worth less in the eyes of those ordinary people he interacts with on a daily basis….the same ordinary people whose decision absolved the killers of Black men?

My son watches the news and hears police chiefs, judges, commentators, legal experts, lawyers, and other pundits tell him to trust the judicial process, even when we know that those who are in charge of this process are often liars who manipulate the truth to fit their agenda. He listens to these so-called experts nonchalantly explain why the cops are justified in their actions while millions around the world protest a broken system. My son’s coming of age during the era of Trayvon Martin, Ezell Ford, Aiyana Jones, John Crawford, Tarika Wilson, Rekia Boyd, Jordan Davis, and so many more. He’s part of the #blacklifematters generation because that statement is as true today as it was centuries ago. He’s seen the system fail repeatedly and knows that this country has a long history of racial injustices it’s never honestly dealt with. He’s seen the stats and knows that every 28 hours, a Black man is killed by a police officer or vigilante, or that Black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than white men. Should he be blamed for having little faith in this brand of justice?

My younger daughter, albeit too young to grasp the severity of what is unfolding, clearly sees that something is wrong. While watching Bob McCullouch announce wilson’s non-indictement a few days ago, she stomped her feet and punched the couch. She was hurt. She thought about her older brother. I probably should have sent her out of the room to shield her heart and mind from this madness but she lives in a world where this is a reality that can’t be ignored…even in elementary school where her peers discuss the news regularly.

My son’s a good kid. He does well in school, has a sharp sense of humor, likes video games, and loves animals. In many ways, he’s a typical teen. He also possesses a deep understanding of his ancestral roots, something my wife and I know is absolutely crucial to a child’s healthy development and well-being. Sadly, no amount of “good” parenting can prevent self-proclaimed vigilantes, like Zimmerman, or cops who are judged unfit for duty, as is the case with the officer who killed 12 year old Tamir Rice, from their deep-seated racism and trigger-happy inclinations. And as a parent, that scares me to death.

You can also find this article at http://raprehab.com/tell-son-value-life/

Welcome to the first episode of Take No Prisoners Radio hosted by Camille H & myself. In this episode, we discuss Ferguson, Police Brutality, misogyny, white supremacy and racism, and the state of Hip Hop. For the Hot Seat segment, we’re joined by an anonymous music industry executive who believes that the music industry should NOT be held accountable for the type of rap music it promotes. The conversation gets pretty heated! Also, check out music from J Cole, Pharoahe Monch, Rah Digga, ZotheJerk, and Rapsody. For info or feedback email SebastienElkouby@gmail.com. Peace.