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Examines the relationship between social justice, Hip-Hop culture, and resistance

Table of contents

Intro:  “Doing It for the Culture”
Section One: Activism or Perpetuation? Hip-Hoppers, Protest Movements, and Mass Incarceration
Chapter One – Belk, Adolphus G., Jr.  “Going Upstate: Challenging Mass Imprisonment in New York State”
Chapter Two – Bonnette-Bailey, Lakeyta M., Lestina Dongo, and Michael Westberg.  “This is America: Hip-Hop and the Black Lives Matter Movement”
Chapter Three – Ogbar, Jeffrey O.G.  “Criminal Minded: The War on Drugs, Social Justice, Policing, and Hip-Hop”
Chapter Four – Baptist, Najja K.  “‘And When They Wake-Up’: Black Lives Matter, Rap, and Activism”
Section Two: Old School and New School Methods of Political Engagement
Chapter Five – Hemphill, Portia R.  “Made You Look: Leaders Speak to the Power of Black Youth Rap Music Consumption and Political Action”
Chapter Six – Napoli, Sarah.  “Everyday Rights: Creating Rights Identities within the Midwest Rap Community”
Chapter Seven – Shawel, Tabia.  “‘Don’t Call It A Comeback’: Trump, Hip-Hop, and the Fight for Human Rights”
Chapter Eight – Akinyela, Ife Jie.  “Movement Music Revisited: Conscious Rap and Contemporary Political Activism”
Section Three: Education and Social Justice: Getting an Education in “They Schools”
Chapter Nine – Sajnani, Damon.  “Problematizing the Civil Rights Paradigm of Hip-Hop Studies”
Chapter Ten  – Evans, Jabari.  “‘It’s​ Bigger​ ​than​ ​Hip-Hop’:​ ​The​​Socio-Emotional​ ​Effect​ ​of​ Hip-Hop as Creative Music Making within the Formal Classroom” ​
Chapter Eleven – Harrison, Anthony Kwame.  “Hip-Hop's Place in Campus Inclusion and Social Justice”
Section Four: Gender, Identity, and Sexuality in Hip-Hop
Chapter Twelve – Ali, Khalilah.  “That’s Them Hoes Over There: Female Students Mitigating Hip-Hop Social Identity Threats”
Chapter Thirteen – Anderson, Britta L.  “Public Grief and Collective Joy: Feminicide, Solidarity, and Feminist Rap in Ciudad Juárez”
Chapter Fourteen – Lamar, Alba Isabel.  “Atrevidas: Afro-Cuban Women Demand Equity through Rap”
Section 5: Mixing It Up: Hip-Hoppers and Social Justice Around the World
Chapter Fifteen – Cheuk, Michael Ka Chi.  “The Low Mays and the Transgression of Wo Lei Fei Fei”
Chapter Sixteen – Gill, Lisa M. “Watch the Throne: Representations of Blackness in Western Political Expressions”
Chapter Seventeen – Pimenta-Silva, Miguel.  “Rhymes, Beats and Maize:  The Maya Civilization and the Use of Rap”
Chapter Eighteen – Ouassini, Anwar and Mostafa Amini, M.A. “Native Transnational ‘Flows’: Hip-Hop, Social Justice, and the Construction of a Global Indigenous Identity”
Outro: “The Beautiful Struggle”
Author Bios


For the Culture: Hip-Hop and the Fight for Social Justice documents and analyzes the ways in which Hip-Hop music, artists, scholars, and activists have discussed, promoted, and supported social justice challenges worldwide. Drawing from diverse approaches and methods, the contributors in this volume demonstrate that rap music can positively influence political behavior and fight to change social injustices, and then zoom in on artists whose work has accomplished these ends.  The volume explores topics including education and pedagogy; the Black Lives Matter movement; the politics of crime, punishment, and mass incarceration; electoral politics; gender and sexuality; and the global struggle for social justice. Ultimately, the book argues that Hip-Hop is much more than a musical genre or cultural form: Hip-Hop is a resistance mechanism.

Lakeyta M. Bonnette-Bailey is Associate Professor of African American Studies at Georgia State University.
Adolphus G. Belk, Jr. is Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Winthrop University.

“An absolutely fascinating edited volume that pushes the academic field of inquiry in very real ways. This book will be bought, cited regularly, and provide maps to future Hip-Hop studies.”
—Lavar Pope, author of Rap and Politics: A Case Study of Panther, Gangster, and Hyphy Discourses in Oakland, CA (1965–2010)

- Lavar Pope, author of Rap and Politics: A Case Study of Panther, Gangster, and Hyphy Discourses in Oakland, CA (1965-2010)

“This is a richly varied set of perspectives on the power of Hip-Hop to contribute to social justice movements around the world. It clearly advocates for Hip-Hop, but at the same time does not shy away from critique. I am excited to see such fascinating and compelling discussions of Hip-Hop as related to the criminal (in)justice system, higher education, and indigeneity.”
—Mark Katz, author of Build: The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World

- Mark Katz, author of Build: The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World

"For the Culture has much to recommend. The volume offers multiple perspectives on rap’s connection to social justice, providing historical nuance and political context. The book’s greatest contribution, however, lies in its focus on contemporary social issues and present-day rap music culture. It is a welcome addition to the hip-hop studies canon and is a must-read for anyone interested in rap’s relationship to culture and politics in the twenty-first century." 
Ethnic and Racial Studies

- Ethnic and Racial Studies

"For the Culture should appeal to anyone interested in social activism areas such as forms education, activism, electoral politics and mass movement leadership, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, or human rights and global justice. The book is eclectic and balances an array of voices. The scholarship is especially rich, thoughtful, and sound. The editors have assembled a great diversity of methods and scopes, all
united by their outstanding framework, chapter content, and documentation. This diversity mirrors the diversity in Hip Hop and in social justice activity."
Popular Culture Review

- Lavar Pope, Loyola University Chicago

"For the Culture convincingly proclaims that hip-hop is not just a cultural form, but a way of seeing, knowing, and being in the world. Hip-hop was and continues to be part of the struggle for a more just world. Hip-hop was and continues to be beautiful."
--Journal of Popular Music Studies

- Journal of Popular Music Studies

"Bonnette-Bailey and Belk, together with the authors who contributed to For the Culture, have produced an important scholarly and activist work. They have demonstrated the multifaceted nature of hip-hop, foregrounding the political power that this genre has and its potential to help end anti-Black violence and racial oppression, and promote justice for all."
--Scholarly Connections Book Reviews

- Scholarly Connections Book Reviews