Race and the American Dream
The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975 is a compilation feature documentary that displays the story of the African-American community 1967-1975 and their battle for race equality and civil liberties in the United States. The documentary features archived film and interviews with political figures such as Erykah Badu, Angela Davis, Talib Kweli, and Stokely Carmichael.
Last week, North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue pardoned the “Wilmington Ten,” a group of civil rights activists who were falsely convicted and imprisoned in connection to the firebombing a white-owned grocery store in a black neighborhood in the 1970s.
In an episode of NPR’s All Things Considered, Jessica Jones investigated their 1972 trail which was notoriously known as a sham as it was revealed that prosecutors pressured and paid off witnesses, as well as overlooked crucial evidence.
However, while the Wilmington Ten were indeed pardoned, Governor Perdue admitted that the “convictions were tainted by naked racism and represent an ugly stain on North Carolina’s criminal justice system that cannot be allowed to stand any longer.”
“I applaud Gov. Beverly Perdue for her leadership in righting this disgraceful wrong and congratulate the NAACP North Carolina State Conference, NAACP members and activists around the country for their work to raise awareness about this case,” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP in an interview with The Root.
REACT to The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975:
STAND UP against racism. Looking pass differences can allow for us to see what we have in common with others, regardless of background, or skin color.
DEFEND civil rights. The Black Power movement paved the way for other moments such as feminism and gay rights. To learn more and take action, check out CivilRights.org.
PAY IT FORWARD by treating others the way you wish you be treated. Positive actions can be contagious, as seen by the Pay It Forward Foundation which promotes the chain of positive interactions between diverse groups of people.
Planet Rock: The Story of Hip-Hop and the Crack Generation takes look at the rise of crack cocaine in urban America in the 1980s and its influence on popular culture, especially in hip-hop music.
The Hip-hop culture emerged from the black community from the cries of young people who felt ostracized and disenfranchised from society. Though the hip-hop and drug scene were intertwined in the 1980s, currently hip-hop is also being used to promote positivity.
Pastor Troy Evans preaches at a church called Edge Urban Fellowship in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While the neighborhood is known for prostitution, Evans’ church is known for its rhymes, beats and elaborate dance moves.
Featured in an article by NPR, Evans explained that he reaches out to kids who either do not have families or are joining gangs. Being alone at 16-years-old, he knew what it was like to turn to gang-life to fill the void of a family, and became the leader of one of the dozens of gangs in the Grand Rapids area.
Currently, Evans uses hip-hop to steer people away from drugs and gang violence and uses the music to provide support and direction to those who have lost their way.
“Our idea of church, holistically, we become surrogate parents,” said Evans.
REACT to Planet Rock: The Story of Hip-Hop and the Crack Generation:
SUPPORT Positive Hip-Hop. Not all hip-hop is negative, as there artists who rap positively or about political, social or economic empowerment. Check out the Positive Hip-Hop Podcast which features tracks with positive messages by a wide variety of hip-hop artists.
HELP those who are struggling with drug addiction. Help Guide has many articles pertaining to overcoming and seeking aide for Drug Addiction.
LIVE a healthy lifestyle. Partnerships such as DrugFree.org help promote a drug-free lifestyle by teaching how to prevent dangerous drug use, and how to intervene when there is a problem.