The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture: Toward Bridging the Generational Divideby Emmett G., III Price III
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Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the Black Church stood as the stronghold of the Black Community, fighting for equality and economic self-sufficiency and challenging its body to be self-determined and self-aware. Hip Hop Culture grew from disenfranchised urban youth who felt that they had no support system or resources. Impassioned with the same urgent desires for survival and hope that their parents and grandparents had carried, these youth forged their way from the bottom of America’s belly one rhyme at a time. For many young people, Hip Hop Culture is a supplement, or even an alternative, to the weekly dose of Sunday-morning faith.
In this collection of provocative essays, leading thinkers, preachers, and scholars from around the country confront both the Black Church and the Hip Hop Generation to realize their shared responsibilities to one another and the greater society. Arranged into three sections, this volume addresses key issues in the debate between two of the most significant institutions of Black Culture. The first part, “From Civil Rights to Hip Hop,” explores the transition from one generation to another through the transmission—or lack thereof—of legacy and heritage. Part II, “Hip Hop Culture and the Black Church in Dialogue,” explores the numerous ways in which the conversation is already occurring—from sermons to theoretical examinations and spiritual ponderings. Part III, “Gospel Rap, Holy Hip Hop, and the Hip Hop Matrix,” clarifies the perspectives and insights of practitioners, scholars, and activists who explore various expressions of faith and the diversity of locations where these expressions take place.
In The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture, pastors, ministers, theologians, educators, and laypersons wrestle with the duties of providing timely commentary, critical analysis, and in some cases practical strategies toward forgiveness, healing, restoration, and reconciliation. With inspiring reflections and empowering discourse, this collection demonstrates why and how the Black Church must re-engage in the lives of those who comprise the Hip Hop Generation.
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Emmett G. Price III is chair of the Department of African American Studies and associate professor of Music and African American Studies at Northeastern University. He is the coeditor of Encyclopedia of African American Music (2011).
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