Hip Hop and the ‘I have a Dream Speech’

martin luther king i am hip hop magazine

We begin a ser­i­ous study of Hip Hop Kul­ture with Dr Mar­tin Luther King Jr. The phe­nomen­on today we know as Hiphop; our col­lect­ive con­scious­ness and com­munity, comes from a Love and for­ce that mani­fes­ted dur­ing the Civil Rights Move­ment. There were many prom­in­ent lead­ers dur­ing this peri­od in Amer­ica and indeed across the world fight­ing for justice and civil rights. People such as Mal­colm X, Rosa Parks, Steve Biko, CLR James, Myles Hor­ton, Josephine Baker, Jo Ann Robin­son and many oth­ers gave Hip Hop the cul­tur­al found­a­tion to become the world­wide uni­fy­ing for­ce it is today.

Dr Mar­tin Luther King Jr was renowned baptist min­ister, act­iv­ist, human­it­ari­an, and lead­er in the Civil Rights Move­ment, known for his civil dis­obedi­ence eth­ic and non viol­ent act­iv­ism. On August 28th, 1963, he gave his fam­ous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. This event led to the actu­al­isa­tion of our Hip Hop Nation. We know accord­ing to Dr King, 1963 was “not and end, but a begin­ning”. Though, even to this day, we are still a young civil­isa­tion, it is true that Hiphop has met “phys­ic­al for­ce with soul for­ce”. The cre­at­ive expres­sion of Hip Hop and its five tra­di­tion­al ele­ments, along with its four addi­tion­al ele­ments is a pro­jec­tion of this soul for­ce.

I AM Hip Hop magazine has count­less examples of this soul for­ce in the vari­ous art­icles, reviews, inter­views and art pro­duced by vari­ous people from the Hip Hop com­munity.

Mar­tin Luther King Jr.’s speech was ori­gin­ally inten­ded to be delivered in a pre-writ­ten form, yet, when Mah­lia Jack­son urged him to “Tell us about the dream” he began to tell us his mes­sage unscrip­ted and from the heart:

“I have a dream that my four little chil­dren will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the col­our of their skin but the con­tent of their char­ac­ter”.

This is how Hiphoppa’s get respect today. Hip Hop in its early days, and even to this day, is based on our respect­ab­il­ity, loy­alty and how we con­duct ourselves. As an answer­ing to Dr. Mar­tin Luther King’s speech, Hiphop became that uni­fied for­ce that tran­scends race, class and nation­al­ity. Hip Hop is in fact all of these sub­di­vi­sions of human cul­ture, and none exclus­ively. It is with­in Hiphop that was are truly judged on the con­tent of our char­ac­ter.

“With this faith we will be able to trans­form the jangling dis­cords of our nation into a beau­ti­ful sym­phony of broth­er­hood” Dr King con­tin­ued his speech:

“Let Freedom ring from the Stone Moun­tain of Geor­gia.”

“Let Freedom ring from Lookout Moun­tain of Ten­ness­ee. ”

“Let freedom ring from every moun­tain­side, let freedom ring”

Thus begins the early days of Hip Hop. It was this gen­er­a­tion of the people grow­ing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s that pion­eered Hip Hop into its mod­ern essence. It is us who are con­tinu­ing it now. Though mar­ket forces por­tray a par­tic­u­lar kind of hip-hop image for sale value, Hip Hop today is a young nation of human beings from dif­fer­ent classes, creeds, cul­tures and coun­tries uni­fied in their meth­ods of cre­at­ive expres­sion artistry and shared con­scious­ness. One could ima­gine Hip Hop to be Mar­tin Luther King’s Prom­ised Land today. Those of us who live Hip Hop’s Ovast­and­ings and per­ceive ourselves as Hip Hop know it to be so. Hiphop­pas are truly free to be them­selves.

-ShvaOne

 

You can listen to Mumia Abu Jamal on Mar­tin Luther King here :

Guest: ShaoDow — IAHH Radio Show by I Am Hip-Hop Radio Show on Mix­cloud

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Shva One

Shva One

ShvaOne Omense is an entre­pren­eur, pho­to­grapher, journ­al­ist and Hip-Hop Emcee. Also a mem­ber of The Tem­ple of Hip-Hop and Uni­ver­sal Zulu Nation, he has been involved in UK Hip-Hop Kul­ture for a num­ber of years. As the dir­ect­or of OMNI Hip-Hop, a char­ity work­ing with young people and social inclu­sion, he works to pre­serve Hip-Hop Kul­ture through teach­ing Hip Hop’s his­tory and ele­ments. ShvaOne has been inter­view­ing artists and writ­ing events reviews for I Am Hip-Hop magazine since 2014.

About Shva One

Shva One
ShvaOne Omense is an entrepreneur, photographer, journalist and Hip-Hop Emcee. Also a member of The Temple of Hip-Hop and Universal Zulu Nation, he has been involved in UK Hip-Hop Kulture for a number of years. As the director of OMNI Hip-Hop, a charity working with young people and social inclusion, he works to preserve Hip-Hop Kulture through teaching Hip Hop’s history and elements. ShvaOne has been interviewing artists and writing events reviews for I Am Hip-Hop magazine since 2014.

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