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Plantation Rhymes: Hip Hop as Writing Against the Empire of Neo-Slavery

Quincy T. Norwood

Abstract


The great James Baldwin once remarked, “It is only in his music, which Americans are able to admire because a protective sentimentality limits their understanding of it, that the Negro in America has been able to tell his story. It is a story which otherwise has yet to be told and which no American is prepared to hear.” 2 The story of people of African descent in the United States is one that disputes the idea of the United States being “the home of the free and the land of the brave.” It is the articulation of a perpetual struggle to be recognized and respected as human beings. James Baldwin reminds us that music has always narrated the experiences of people of African descent in the United States. The varying forms of music in the Black musical tradition are linked by common recurring themes that are communicated rhythmically and lyrically.

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ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics and Consciousness. ISSN: 1543-0855 (online).
Editor: Dr. Sonjah Nadine Stanley-Niaah.

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