Hip Hop as Literacy: Through the Eyes of the Young.
(above media: Anthony pka Avierre the Don performs his verse (featured on “EMF” remix by Will See) which presents his views on Detroit’s emergency financial manager.)
My name is Anthony Grimmett, 20 years young. I am a Detroit Native, visual artist, emcee, youth organizer and activist. a member of the Detroit Future Youth Network, involved with the Heru Organization, East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC), Young Educators Alliance (program of EMEAC), and the Detroit Youth Food Justice Task Force.
I define literacy as being able to receive information, being able to identify what information you are receiving, and understanding that information to a point where it can be applied, through creative expression.
Hip hop culture is the culture in which people are creating stories, always coming with a point of a story that is “this is how you move forward” or “this is how you do right by this”. I feel like hip hop is based in justice; I feel like hip hop is the culture of justice.
When I feel like I see hip hop or hear hip hop, is when I hear artists talking about land, food, society, and/or cultural awareness as a way to build community and grow self.
I identify as an emcee. An emcee is a one who is personally growing in justice practices despite whatever oppressive systems are set in place. I feel like emcees are messengers of either the life they are physically living, or communicating the challenges they collectively face with the people in their community.
In telling my stories, I am telling people that we are apart of the same struggles, triumphs, and same collective experience. Once we grow aware that we collectively share an experience, we begin sharing information that can help each other peacefully manuever through our shared challenges. My stories build community through creating solidarity around these shared challenges and our collective experiences.