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Young Black Women and The Politics of Hip-Hop
Unformatted Document Text:  during the period from Black Power to hip hop shape the political responses of this generation? 13 ” Hill-Collins argues that the impact of specific historical events shapes both the political and social character of generations. But ultimately it is Hill-Collins analysis of both the politics of young black Americans (whom she labels “the hip hop generation”) and their engagement with mass media (hip hop in particular) in order to communicate that politics, is what is most relevant to this project. Hip-hop culture is itself a response by Black and Latino youth who were denied access not just to college educations, but to schooling, adequate housing, recreational activities and music lessons… For Black and Latino youth who have been denied high-quality educations, school is no longer the place where they earn literacy and politics. Rather, for many, mass media has become their classroom 14 . For Hill-Collins, black youth are able to use hip-hop culture to communicate a politics that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. She argues that “individually and collectively, these ideologies [nationalism and feminism] have been more likely to engage politically active black youth than ideologies of racial integration and socialism. 15 ” This makes sense when you consider that both nationalism and feminism are recurrent themes throughout hip hop music. She posits that young black women in particular are bypassing “traditional outlets for feminist thought. Instead they express their feminist politics through mass media and popular culture venues of hip hop culture. 16 ” Hip-hop influenced writers and rap or rhythm-and-blues artists…. routinely argue that Black women have the right to be respected, to be loved by their families and partners, 13 pg. 5 14 pg. 191 15 pg. 13 16 pg. 161-162 7

Authors: Moffett-Bateau, Alexandra.
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during the period from Black Power to hip hop shape the political responses of this 
generation?
 Hill-Collins argues that the impact of specific historical events shapes both 
the political and social character of generations. But ultimately it is Hill-Collins analysis 
of both the politics of young black Americans (whom she labels “the hip hop 
generation”) and their engagement with mass media (hip hop in particular) in order to 
communicate that politics, is what is most relevant to this project. 
Hip-hop culture is itself a response by Black and Latino 
youth who were denied access not just to college 
educations, but to schooling, adequate housing, recreational 
activities and music lessons… For Black and Latino youth 
who have been denied high-quality educations, school is no 
longer the place where they earn literacy and politics. 
Rather, for many, mass media has become their 
classroom
For Hill-Collins, black youth are able to use hip-hop culture to communicate a politics 
that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. She argues that “individually and 
collectively, these ideologies [nationalism and feminism] have been more likely to 
engage politically active black youth than ideologies of racial integration and 
socialism.
 This makes sense when you consider that both nationalism and feminism are 
recurrent themes throughout hip hop music. She posits that young black women in 
particular are bypassing “traditional outlets for feminist thought. Instead they express 
their feminist politics through mass media and popular culture venues of hip hop 
culture.
 
Hip-hop influenced writers and rap or rhythm-and-blues 
artists…. routinely argue that Black women have the right 
to be respected, to be loved by their families and partners, 
13
 pg. 5
14
 pg. 191
15
 pg. 13
16
 pg. 161-162
7


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