The Black Arts Movement and Hip-Hop

When I sat down and compared my two blogs which were the politics of the black arts movement and the politics in Hip-hop, I found some very poignant similarities that really connect these two movements. It was interesting to see that both of these poetic movements represented the black community and really gave a voice to the people struggling for equality and peace wether it was the 60s or 80s. Of course, the Hip-hop movement of the 80s and early 90s were demonized because of their foul subject matter and "gangster" attitudes. However this is what Hip-hop represented and what the black communities, especially in urban areas, had to deal with. The reason why most black neighborhoods in cities were so horrific and violent is because the only way for black individuals to progress and have a steady source of income was to sell drugs and make money illegally. On the other hand the Black arts movement took on a more peaceful form of protest because when this movement existed, Martin Luther King, Jr. was preaching non-violence. However, the Black Arts Movement also represented the nationalistic ideas of Malcolm X and so the poets of the Black Arts Movement were caught in a weird limbo between violence and non-violence, so the Movements was able to escape the negative images later associated with the Hip-hop movement.

Both movements also stood up for black rights and believed strongly in a strong, independent black community that many strong black men and women believed in both during the Black Arts Movement and the Hip-hop era. Poets in both of these eras really stood up and said "this is what we want and this is what we need". Also, the poets of these two eras raised awareness of what their people were going through like police brutality and poverty and showed American, as a whole, what was going on in the Black community and how essentially most Black individuals were on their own. This also brings up a good point about how the American government pretty much abandoned the black community in times when they were needed the most.

When looking at these two movements and seeing the similarities, it is eery to see how closely related they are and how without the Black Arts Movement, the Hip-hop movement would not have been as powerful and organized.


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