Hip Hop for your BrainNovember 3rd, 2009 by Smart Chicks Network received No Comments »
Over the last 10 years, Hip-Hop has seen amazing growth. Yes, the industry of Hip-Hop has done extremely well, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The evolution of the Internet and the availability of audio and video software has allowed for a wider playing field in the creation of media. Previously, large amounts of money were needed to create media content and distribute it to the masses. Today, a decent computer and some creative energy allow you to share your work quite easily.
What has been sorely needed is a means to showcase the media that has been created. In Washington DC, the Hip-Hop Cinema Cafe shows Hip-Hop movies each month at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. To date movies like Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme, The Freshest Kids, Bomb-It The Movie, Counting Headz: South Afrika’s Sistaz in Hip Hop, Deep Crates and The Art of 16 Bars have been shown, introducing the true essence of Hip-Hop to an audience which is largely uninitiated. As one education process takes place via media, teachers (middle school, high school and college) have begun the process in the classroom.
According to the Hip-Hop Archive over 200 courses on Hip-Hop have been taught at the college level. As those who grew up on Hip-Hop make their way into the academy, they are bringing their love of Hip-Hop to the classroom. Much like the early Black Studies, Women’s Studies and Jazz Studies classes, it took some time for those who grew up in these movements to incorporate their passions into research.
Similarly, high school and middle school teachers are utilizing Hip-Hop in the classroom as part of their lesson plans. It is not uncommon to see an English class using rap lyrics to examine poetry or history classes employing Hip-Hop as a lens for making global connections in the curriculum. Organizations like the Hip-Hop Association, Words, Beats and Life Inc and the International Association of Hip Hop Education are examples of organizations that have created workshops, which help educators in utilizing Hip-Hop in the classroom.
This fall, the Hip-Hop Cinema Cafe will add an educational element to its film screenings. Online tutorials and workshops will accompany films, creating a space for educators to collaborate on lesson plan ideas based on the film. The Hip-Hop Cinema Cafe holds panel discussions on each film where the audience can ask questions and share thoughts. The addition of educational resources will create another means to educate the masses on the true essence of Hip-Hop. Continue to check the site for updates on this initiative.
Written by Prof Andrew J. Ryan.
Taken from HipHopCinemaCafe.com
Andrew J Ryan teaches courses on Hip-Hop at George Mason University and the University of the District of Columbia. His course: “Beats, Rhymes and Culture” was named the 14th ‘coolest’ class in America by College Bound Teen magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com.