Essay on From Criteria of Negro Art: Rap and Race

Essay on From Criteria of Negro Art: Rap and Race

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Art is the product of human creativity, and it takes place in various forms such as paintings, literature, music and dance. Art serves many roles as it can be interpreted in various ways depending on the individual. Art must be understood within in the context which is was created. Both culture and politics are factors that determines the way art is interpreted. Since art is visual or auditory rather than physical oppressed groups are able to expressed themselves and protest without getting into an altercation with law enforcement or individuals in power. During the 1970s through the 1980s, rap music served as the voice of the African-American community and brought undermined issues to the public. However, over years the theme of rap music has changed and has been regarded as solely promoting violence and misogynic values. Rapper Talib Kweli’s music embodies the intended goal of rap during the 1970s. Despite heavy criticism over the years rap music painted a picture of the harsh realities and oppression of individuals in inner city areas in the United States and served as effective means of resistance.
In “Criteria of Negro Art”, W.E.B Du bois claims that all art is propaganda and is created to convey a message. In addition, Du Bois believed art can be used for the purpose of racial uplift, especially in the African-American community. He also ponders how art produced by African-Americans will be perceived by society. African-Americans or oppressed groups in general have been dehumanized in society, therefore, it would appear difficult for the groups that are higher in power to take their work in consideration. Du Bois states, “…the white public today demands from its artist literary and pictorial, racial prejudgment which deli...


... middle of paper ...


...nd to drugs, violence and economic disparity, disadvantaged areas must be provided with good quality education, job opportunities and many more resources in order to seek hope in the future.



Works Cited

Sullivan, Rachel E. "Rap and Race: It's Got a Nice Beat, but What about the Message?" Journal of Black Studies 33.5 (2003): 605-622. Print.
Du Bois, W.E.B. "From Criteria of Negro Art." Cultural conversations: The presence of the past. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2001. 159-62. Print.
Morgan, Joan. “From Fly-Girls to Bitches and Hos.” Cultural conversations: The presence of the past. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2001. 201-205. Print.
Crossley, Scott. "Metaphorical Conceptions in Hip-Hop Music." African American Review 39.4 (2005): 501-512. Print
Blanchard, Becky. “The Social Significance of Rap & Hip-Hop Culture.” Poverty and Prejudice (1999)

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