Saturday, January 5, 2008

At The River I Stand, Watching The Wire: Black America in 2008 & Beyond


At The River I Stand, Watching The Wire: Black America in 2008 & Beyond


Michael Partis

Now You Got The Juice: The People Power of The Hip-Hop Head

Here's an editorial I wrote on the Real Talk NY Website. Read & Comment Please. Peace

Now You Got The Juice: The People Power of The Hip-Hop Head

Opening Statement- Who Am I?



I have created this blog as a place where people can read more about my work and find out more about me. I will post my articles, editorials, commentaries, essays, and other writings here. This will be a way to archive my work, a way for others to reference my writing, and my way to share a part of myself with the world. Read, criticize, argue, debate freely; BUT do so in the spirit of love, in a commitment to better this world, and to bridge the racial, social, and economic problems of this world. WORDLIFE



"When Brown babies emerge from the womb they passionately seek the essence of humanity. See they long for an understanding of this human condition. They babble till they talk; crawl till they walk; teethe till they eat; and alternate between long hours of wake, & long hours of sleep. All in an attempt to find what really is life's deeper meaning. Some look inside, some look outside. Some look back, some look forward. When I saw slavery, racism, Jim Crow, colonialism, segregation, and discrimination- I decided to dedicate my life to liberation. Because this brown baby decided the essence of his people is '....too be free...'" M.P



Theory precedes action. We develop a way of thinking. This way of thinking affects the way we understand. And our environment affects what it is we have to understand. Once we think, once we understand, then we act. You can react without thinking. Even for the slightest of seconds, you process-then you react.

Throughout history, those people of African descent who have been identified as "Black," have had a truly distinct existance in the world. They have lived through over 400 yrs of history in which "Black" has casted as inferior, savage, barbaric, pathologically flawed culturally, and biologically short-changed genetically; they've been villianized, criminalized, and economically dis-advantaged. These are only SOME of the constructions that have hindered Blacks.

This has created a shared experience amongst many in the group. While everybody has individual experiences, those characterized as Blacks have experienced (at some point) the effects of their being marked.

Thus a large group of Blacks have been systematically put in among the lowest of socio-economic positions. We function in a system that perpetuates them being politically pandered to, economically limited, and socially stereotyped, marginalized, and isolated. Many did not reap the fruits of the fame Civil Rights Movement.

The group left behind have been given the named the "underclass." They many times live in the "ghetto."

But see agency was never lost in these people. They never lost the ability to do for themselves. They never lost the belief in helping themselves. And a popular way they displayed this belief in changing their existence, in understanding their existence, and in challenging the system... is through expression. Whether it be physical prowess in sports, expression through the "letters" (writing, scholarship, poetry, painting, fiction, etc), or political consciousness in community organizing & activism- liberation was a tangible goal; and Blacks took vested interested in improving their lives.

One form of expression and one genre of music has forcefully turned into a culture that lives, narrates,and captures this experience: Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop Culture has become a common tread amongst a generation of Blacks. It invokes their voice, their history, their lives, and their place. Thus it has grown to encompass their environment; it affects how they understand the world around them; and has steeped into their consciousness a certain way of thinking. They have "Hip-Hop Thought."

"Hip-Hop Thought" is what has affected my entire life. It has brought me to this point I am at now; for better or for worst, till death do us part. And it has affected my entire generation, and it is affecting the generation after me. As such it serves as the baseline of my understanding, and my life.

This is where I'm from...