Growing up in a city as diverse as New York you tend to find yourself immersed in culture in everything you do. The music, food, and architecture usually define the area you’re in. Spending most of my time in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn my upbringing was shaped and molded by Hip Hop. Being a young African American male growing up in an impoverished area, hip hop was the one genre of music that told my story. It painted a vivid picture of the everyday struggles I faced growing up with a single mother in an area where crime and poverty were more prevalent than anything else. It was a way to temporarily escape the harsh realities I was facing day to day. But what makes hip hop such a powerful tool is the fact that it gives people a platform to speak out about injustices. It gives people a voice who aren’t normally heard in terms of society.
I’m sure by now most of you have either watched or heard about the freestyle, rapper Eminem performed at the BET Awards. In this freestyle the hip hop artist expressed his distaste toward our current president, and spoke on the divide our current leader is creating amongst the American people. He talked about the state of our national football league and explains how he is in support of the take a knee protest. Eminem was able to discuss and bring attention to so many issues and social injustices by using this art form known as hip hop. The attention this freestyle is getting reminded me just how powerful hip hop is and has always been. It allowed Eminem to relay thoughts and ideas that would not have been heard on any other platform. And this is the beauty of the music, it gives one person an opportunity to speak for the masses and actually be heard.
If you take a look back at the origin of Hip Hop, The Bronx in the 70’s was a place immersed in poverty and violence. And the music was an art form that allowed the people in the neighborhood to express themselves in a positive way. It started off as just a fun hobby, but soon became a part of the culture and molded itself into a platform for these young African American men to highlight the injustices they were experiencing. To see how, over 40 years later, the art form has impacted people of all race and ethnicities is truly an amazing thing.
When I listen to CANA Foundation’s song Run Free (Tonight), I can see how Hip Hop has become a voice for our wild horses, Native people, and our land. It shows me how something that was just an art form for the kids in the street has evolved and become something that bridges a gap and brings people together. And, I believe that our initiative here at CANA will do the same thing. We have become a voice for our wild horses and Native people, and will use our platform to discuss the injustices our relatives face. If you haven’t already please check out our website at canafoundation.org and find out how you can join the mission.
About CANA Foundation
CANA Foundation’s mission is to responsibly restore an ecological balance in our environment through specific rewilding initiatives. These projects support harmony between the humans, plants, and animals that inhabit U.S. rangelands and focus on the restoration of our land’s native habitats through natural resources and indigenous species, like America’s wild horses. CANA initiatives work towards long-term, sustainable solutions that prevent further land degradation, protect and preserve wild horse populations, and encourage a beneficial, thriving ecosystem for today and tomorrow.
Contact CANA Foundation: PO Box 674, Locust Valley, NY 11560 or [email protected]Donate to CANA Foundation
It is up to us, American citizens, to contact our elected representatives of government and let them know how we feel about the issues. Use a service like GovTrack.us to find your local representatives and make your voice heard.Visit GovTrack.us
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