“If you remember one thing from this presentation, remember this: Hip-hop culture is the most dominant culture in American society. And it started, and has been driven, by kids just like you.” Cheats, Founder of The Cheats Movement

Last week,  I had the honor of returning to my old high school, J.R. Tucker, in the west end of Henrico to speak for Black History Month. The event was hosted the JRT Diversity Council.  My topic was the impact of hip-hop culture in today’s society and how hip-hop went from the Bronx projects in the early 70s to a mass meeting, in the White House, hosted by President Obama.

Key moments in hip-hop history are very subjective so creating a list of 10 to 12 items was nearly impossible. In order to do this, and have the moments  relate to high school students, I ask for help from my hip-hop heads and friends via the internet.

I won’t go over every point in the presentation but some of the highlights were:

  • The creation of The Source and YO! MTV Raps in the same year (1988)
  • ATCQ and Wu-Tang releasing albums on the same day (1993)
  • The death of BIG and Pac and what it meant for the culture (1996 & 1997)
  • Kanye saying “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” (2005)
  • Hov and Obama (2008)

The presentation timeline started a little earlier (1973) and went a little later (2017 Grammy) but high school students really responded to a lot of the points and were very engaged.

Hosting this discussion was personal for me. We need to let young people know that there is more to black history than Dr. King and Rosa Parks. Young people are making history everyday. We talked a lot about Chance the Rapper. Chance means more to these students than RUN-DMC. As teachers, we have to embrace the reality of now and meet young people where they are. This was truly a highlight of the entire Cheats Movement. #WESEEIT


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