The 21st Century Hip-Hop Minstrel Show by Raphael Heaggans
Are We Continuing the Blackface Tradition?

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Rap music empowered people during its heyday. However, some elements within hip-hop music date back to slavery. The formation of baggy pants, gangs, glorification of prisons, objectification of women, pimping, celebration of the ghetto, and odes to marijuana have become consistent themes within hip hop that aides in psychologically affecting youths' perceptions about Black life around the world. These stereotypic images of Blacks were perpetuated in the minstrel show by Whites-in blackface in the 1800s-as a means of entertaining other Whites. Today, some Black male hip hop artists perpetuate such false stereotypic portrayals of Black life for the entertainment of a mostly-suburbanite audience. These portrayals perpetuate the legacy of slavery while the Black male hip-hop artist is making pennies compared to the big bucks the recording and distribution companies are earning off the backs of any willing Black male hip-hop artist who will degrade himself and his race in great stereotypic proportions. This stance goes against what our Black, White, gay, and Jewish ancestors fought against during slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. Raphael Heaggans is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Niagara University. His educational background is in Multicultural Education. He is a former college administrator and 7th and 8th grade language arts teacher. He is a member of Kappa Delta Pi and is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

About Raphael Heaggans

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Published March 6, 2009 by University Readers. 148 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography.