Smile Politely

Ask Politely #9

Next Thursday marks the kick-off (pop-and-lock-off?) of the 6th annual Hip-Hop Awareness Week, organized by U-C Hip-Hop Congress and Floor Lovers Illinois. This event, which continues through next weekend, aims to both educate and entertain the public with the four “elements” of hip-hop culture:

  • Dance (breakdancing/b-boy/-girling)
  • Poetry (spoken word/rapping)
  • Music (turntablism/deejaying)
  • Visual Arts (graffiti)

In the meantime, tonight at 7 p.m., the one-man show Jails, Hospitals and Hip-Hop continues in Allen Hall (and closes after Saturday’s 2 p.m. showing at The Armory Free Theatre), and showcases hip-hop culture as one of the ties that bind in a script of characters with cultural and social differences.

Hip-hop culture has been alternately celebrated and vilified — is it elitist, or welcoming? Is it sexist; is it racist? Certainly no movement is perfect, but the efforts of activists in our community this coming week bring to mind the positive potential available and active in hip-hop, as an energetic community unifier and a purveyor of poetry.

Will you be attending the events this weekend and in the coming week? What has hip-hop done for you? What can our community learn from hip-hop?

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