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February 27, 2007



I enjoyed your assessments in this article. The last paragraph summed it all up and you did it wonderfully.

It's unfortunate that younger people today do not appreciate this most American of American music: Soul, blues, jazz, gospel. They have adopted a "watered-down" version of the music: hip/hop. This "new music" has done a great deal of damage to the struggle that black people, as a whole have gone through and in particular, what black artists worked so hard to achieve.

Hip/hoppers have redefined black people around the world. Their images and sounds have dominated the airwaves for 25 years, protraying African-Americans as thugs, whores and uneducated street people to be feared.

Attitudes about American blacks, world-wide have turned so negative, that when asked to describe blacks in the USA, Europeans laugh and then imitate the rappers they've seen on television.

Nobody ever said that white America was intelligent, they too believe what they watch on TV. Their acceptance of the video images and what they observe on the actual streets, convince them that all blacks are actually like those gang bangers. This has proven to be detrimental to blacks as a whole. College graduates of color are dumped in the same basket as gangbangers and are having difficulty in securing employment in the corporate world where jobs are still doled out by skeptical white males.

Blacks have GOT to take back their image from the hip/hop "culture" who is only concerned with filling their own pockets with fast cash and not concerned about the overall struggle that is still going on.

Image is very powerful and if the depictions that are prevalent on TV are those of hip/hoppers, black children will strive to become what they see on TV. It's similar to what young white girls see and emulate: Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan. Nine and ten year old girls are showing up at school dressed like sluts.

Time for a change all around.


Hey Oliver, thanks for the thoughtful comment. I'll pass it on to Lisa.

If I may pick a nit: while your characterization of commercial hip hop is accurate, there are a number of underground artists who don't promote the stereotypical images you mentioned. I'm no expert in the field, but I will say that it's not really fair to paint the entire genre with the same brush.

I wouldn't say that it's hip hop culture per se that's the problem so much as it is the way in which it gets marketed.

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