Freedom Dreams

Subject: African-American Studies

Considering your knowledge of the ongoing black freedom struggle, write an essay response to the following question:

To what extent does Hip Hop represent the continuation of the black struggle for freedom or a decisive break from it?

You may also want to consider the related question: What are the promises and pitfalls of Hip Hop for the future of black struggles for recognition and equality?

Your essay should follow the five-section format as discussed in class (remember you are not confined strictly to five paragraphs but should include strong topic sentences for each paragraph).

Do not consult outside sources, including third person (“expert”) commentary, although you may include examples of Hip Hop artists from your own experience, including MCs, rappers, spoken word poets, graffiti artists, dancers, etc. Your focus, however, should be on the materials assigned by me and viewed and/or discussed in class.

— Gwendolyn Powe’s chapter, “My Cipher Keeps Movin”,
— “Jay-Z’s Decoded,
— Byron Hurt’s Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes (2006),
— documentary “I’ll Make Me a World: The Freedom You Will Take

are key texts that should be included in you analysis. Quotes should be cited and included.

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