A Furious Kinship: Critical Race Theory and the Hip Hop Nation
80 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 16, 2010
Two explosive movements were born in the United States in the 1970s. While the founding of both movements was humble and lightly noticed, both grew to become global phenomena that have profoundly changed the world. Founded by prescient agitators, these two movements were borne of disaffect, disappointment, and near desperation - a desperate need to give voice to oppressed and dispossessed peoples. America in the 1970s bore witness to the founding of two furious movements: Critical Race Theory and Hip Hop.
Critical Race Theory was founded as a response to what had been deemed a sputtering civil rights agenda in the U.S. Driven by law professors of color, it primarily targeted the law by exposing the racial inequities supported by U.S. law and policy. Hip hop, on the other hand, was founded by budding artists, musicians, and agitators in the South Bronx neighborhoods of New York City, primarily driven by young African American disaffected youth, as a response to a faltering music industry and abject poverty. While these two movements seem significantly separated by presentation, arena, and point of origin, they share startling similarities. Among the many similarities between Critical Race Theory and hip hop, include the use of narrative in response to racism and injustice in a post-civil rights era, a fundamental desire to give voice to a discontent brewed by silence, and a dedication to the continuing struggle for race equality in the United States. This Article seeks to be among the first to explore the parallel paths of evolution shared by the Critical Race Theory movement and the hip-hop nation in striving toward their mutual goals of radical realignment and societal recognition and change of race and law in America.
Keywords: critical race theory, hip hop, kinship, civil rights
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