Hip-hop created by mostly poor young people in New York City, is, at its best, an act of open resistance. It was the rebel yell of disenfranchised youth who transformed what little was given to them into performance art. Hip-hop was essentially art therapy, and to see said American counterculture go on to inspire and heal (and, in some instances, hurt) generations of people-from Israelis to Palestinians to South Africans and Maoris and everyone else in between-is amazing thing. I think that if people here in the States bore witness to this power, it will not only educate but also inspire global awareness and real change.
This is also true for communities around the worldL for instance, I’ve met young diehard hip-hop heads in Ghana who learned about the conflict in Sierra Leone through my film. It’s pretty incredible to think that a Dominican by way of New York flew ten hours to hip a person in Ghana about what happened only a few hours away in Sierra Leon. And what I learned in Ghana about youth culture and hip-hop due to my film has changed my life as well: it’s two-way street. As a matter of fact, I recently showed my film at the Hebrew Tabernacle in my neighborhood and had a chance to dialogue with people whom I would have probably never met if it had not been for, even indirectly, hip-hop!
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