beat street let your art speak

dear readers,

been thinking about back to school. its funny, as a student i’m sitting down, gotta raise my hand to speak, and as a teacher, i’m walking around, the mic is mine, tryna remember that everyone deserves a chance to shine. last night i screened beat street, prepping to show it to my hip hop politics class. back in the day, all the colors, all that sway…

here in new york city, circa 2010, much of the art has literally gone underground, subway platforms, you could hear the sound. but back in the day, when hip hop engulfed the minds, bodies, and hearts of a population chest tight against a dead end economic block, back in the day, art was a living, breathing part of gotham life. it may be safer now, but i would argue that depends on what safe means to you. does it mean quiet, black clad on the way to and from the office? does it mean sexy and strappy and scrappy like how the songs say? what stereotype did you fight today?

as a prison lawyer, i saw cell blocks divided by race and region, set and legion. out here, it’s not so different. except out here, we aren’t forced into separation, we do it ourselves. falling safely into line behind the stereotype leaders of the new school. but shit, there are still so many of us out here doing our own thing, and i’m so proud to be an artist, breaking down walls internal and external.

stay tuned for more,
roopa

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