Academic Literature

Indigeneity and Resistance in Hip Hop and Lived Experiences of Youth of African Descent in Canada

2016
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Indigeneity and Resistance in Hip Hop and Lived Experiences of Youth of African Descent in Canada

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Youth of African descent, including migrant youth and first generation youth in Canada, appropriate hip hop’s music style, rap, and use it as a tool of resistance as they make sense of their own identity within the context of racism and inequality in a white supremacist state. Through experiences of artists who go ‘back home’ and make music on African indigenous lands, performing on indigenous lands becomes a way for African youth to reclaim their identity and histories and bring about spiritual healing as they imbue new and different meanings on Africa’s colonized lands. African local artists who have appropriated hip hop in indigenous languages and pidgins use it as a form of resistance to speak against the vices and injustices in society, and some have used it to counter racist images used by development agencies in the West. Because going ‘back home’ to indigenous lands is necessarily a process of healing for youth of African descent who face racism on a daily basis, it is imperative that programs, such as student and teacher exchange programs, include African countries so as to foster relationships in schools that create an understanding of African cultures and languages. It is also imperative that mainstream curriculum teaches rap as a history of resistance in the Black struggle.

Bazira-Okafor, A. (2016). Indigeneity and Resistance in Hip Hop and Lived Experiences of Youth of African Descent in Canada. In G. J. Sefa Dei & M. Lordan (Eds.), Anti-Colonial Theory and Decolonial Praxis (p. 119-142). Peter Lang. ISBN: 9781433133879

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