Illustration by Z.Hill of Rhyanes entering juvenile prison
Creative Expressions of Masculinity
In & Out of Juvenile Detention
This summer HHA instructor Lecroy Rhyanes is teaching at the UTEP College of Liberal Arts. Check the hashtag #TBW2016cj. Below is a course description and history.
This hybrid course will explore how incarcerated youth express gender identity through the creative arts. We will pay particular attention to how such youth understand and articulate what it means to be a man. Students in this course will analyze primary sources, including poetry recordings, Hip Hop music, and stories created by incarcerated youth from the borderlands.
Course meetings will take place once a week in the evening face to face along with an interactive online learning component that will utilize both multi and social-media resources. Online work will consist of reflective responses to the course text titled Hidden Truth, Young Men Navigating Lives In and Out of Juvenile Prison by Adam Reich and The Beat Within, a weekly publication of writing and art from incarcerated youth. The Beat Within, founded in 1996, shortly after the death of Hip Hop icon Tupac Shakur, celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2016.
The primary sources to be utilized for this course date back to the Instructor Lecroy Rhyanes’ volunteer activities inside of juvenile detention centers in El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Between 2006-2014, Rhyanes encouraged incarcerated youth to write poetry to send to The Beat Within and recorded hundreds of poems, Hip Hop songs, and music composed by the youth. The primary goal was to engage youth in creative learning and share the recordings amongst the youth in the prison, their families, the prison staff, and the community. The program was called Voices Behind Walls (VBW), a volunteer creative expression and arts program.
Students in this course will analyze how creative expression programs such as VBW, The Beat Within, and The Hidden TREWTH - Reich’s newspaper program facilitated inside juvenile detention - help incarcerated youth reflect on who they are and where they’re from. Primary sources, such as the VBW recordings will provide examples of how male youth living on the border understand themselves, their lives, and who they are as men through rhyme. Most of the incarcerated youth that participated in VBW, we will discover understand masculinity through Hip Hop, and these “Hip Hop masculinities” are inseparable from criminalized understandings of maleness (to be tough, violent, or gangsta). At the same time, Hip Hop is also inseparable from its ability to reconnect youth to community, knowledge of self, and using creative expression as restorative practice. With these ideas in mind, this course ultimately aims to explore the possibilities of creative expression as well as how incarcerated youth experience and articulate gender.
A write up with photographs from a Penn State Berk's Contributor from December 13, 2014
Penn State Berks' Students Host Die-In
"He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." -- Martin Luther King Jr.
On Monday December 8, Penn State Berks students came together for a "die-in" located in the Perkins Student Center lobby. A die-in is a form of peaceful protest where people lie down on the ground and simulate being dead. The die in made its way on the WFMZ news - watch here. Signs that hung on the auditorium doors read "Now who do you call when cops kill" and "Justice For Mike Brown".
Another die-in was held in Thun Library on Wednesday, December 10. Professors even got involved - Professor Justin De Senso lies on the ground in the bottom left corner below.
This summer HHA is teaching an online course 'The Popular Arts in America: The History of Hip Hop' #AFAM126 at Pennsylvania State University Summer 2016 June 27 - August 3, 2016 with Professor Justin De Senso. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Check the hashtag #AFAM126_2016.
English Teacher's Hip-Hop Curriculum Gets Students Writing
QUOTES... for the full article click on the source link below.
"Lauren Leigh Kelly, an English teacher at Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills, N.Y., and an adjunct English instructor at Teachers College, Columbia University, has found that incorporating rap and hip-hop culture into the literacy curriculum can help connect instruction to students’ individual backgrounds and foster their interest in writing."
"In 2011, Kelly designed a Hip-Hop Literature and Culture class at her school to engage students in the study of hip-hop texts, including songs, films, and music videos, as a means to develop media literacy and critical-analysis skills."
“So [I was] having them relook at the texts that they loved already or were curious about and ask really deep questions of them,” Kelly explained. “They were pulling out more questions, more evidence—they were looking at the voices that weren’t heard, like who are we not seeing or hearing and what would they be saying if we could.”
"JKD is based on the symbol of Yin and Yang, a pair of mutually complementary and interdependent forces that act continuously, without cessation, in this universe. In the above symbol, the Yin and Yang are two interlocking parts of 'one whole,' each containing within its confines the qualities of its complementaries. Etymologically, the characters of Yin and Yang mean darkness and light. The ancient character of Yin, the dark part of the circle, is a drawing of clouds and hill. Yin can represent anything in the universe as: negativeness, passiveness, gentleness, internal, insubstantiality, femaleness, moon, darkness, night, etc. The other complementary half of the circle is Yang, which in its ancient form is written with the lower part of the character signifying slanting sunrays, while the upper part represents the sun. Yang can represent anything as positiveness. activeness, firmness, external, substantiality, maleness, sun, brightness, day, etc. The common mistake of most martial artists is to identify these two forces, Yin and Yang as dualistic (thus the so-called soft styles and the firm styles). Yin/Yang is one separate force of one unceasing interplay of movement. They are conceived of as essentially one, or as two co-existing forces of one indivisible whole. They are neither cause and effect, but should be looked at as sound and echo or light and shadow. If this 'oneness' is viewed as two separate entities, realization of the ultimate reality of JKD won't be achieved. In reality, things are 'whole' and cannot be separated into two parts. When I say the heat makes me perspire, the heat and perspiring are just one process as they are co-existent and the one could not exist but for the other. If a person riding a bicycle wishes to go somewhere, he cannot pump on both pedals at the same time or not pumping them at all. In order to go forward, he has to pump on one pedal and release the other. So the movement or going forward required this 'oneness' of pumping and releasing. Pumping is the result of releasing and vice versa, each being the cause and result of the other Things do have their complementaries, and complementaries co-exist. Instead of mutually exclusive, they are mutually dependent and are a function each of the other. In the Yin/Yang symbol there is a white spot on the black part and a black on the white one. This is to illustrate the balance in life, for nothing can survive long by going to either extremes, be it pure Yin (gentleness) or pure Yang (firmness). Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked. while the bamboo or willow survive by bending with the wind. In JKD, Yang (firmness) should be concealed in Yin (gentleness) and Yin in Yang. Thus a JKD man should be soft yet not yielding, firm, yet not hard." SOURCE
Nick Deals HHbeAtz ((listen)) YouTube: click here #HHArchives
This beats were passed on to us from Nick Deals in 2009 for the development of Hip Hop Alumni's online web presence. At the time we wanted to feature background music on the homepage and decided on the ninth track which you could hear at the Soundcloud link below. At the time the tracks were untitled. We've added the CD to our #HHArchives with titles by #Lee. The link above will provide ((listen)) to ((Gymkata)) and the Soundcloud link below is for the ((Shaolinen)) instrumental.
We're all libraries of information and experiences. A lot of stories. It's difficult to document these things in a way that matters, in a way that is accessible, and in a way that will last. Over the past twenty years using the internet, it seems to me Google will be the only place online that won't break links. #HHArchives is an attempt to share pieces of information we've saved over the years that hold meaning to what we've done, what's inspired the things we do today, and what reminds us of what we hope to accomplish tomorrow.
Below are clippings from a Time Chronicle article that I saved of Justin De Senso's Penn State University Abington poetry slam in 2002.
"It's about learning about yourself and learning about language. To express oneself truly is one of the meanings of life for me." - Justin De Senso
On Google Blogger there are two locations, hiphopalumni.blogspot.com and the new addition for 2016, Hip Hop Stacks which will feature HHA's Hip Hop Stacks catalogue history and current titles HHA recommends to libraries, along with author interviews and reviews. To visit the Hip Hop Stacks blog check out hhstacks.blogspot.com
Featured on HHA's Soundcloud page is a playlist archive that will include clips and highlights from the KRUX 91.5 FM radio program which broadcasted at New Mexico State University between the years of 2000 to 2008. Programs include Lee's Hip Hop Show, Soul Session, and The Representation Show... hosted by HHA's Lee Rhyanes. Rotation included all genres including interviews and guest appearances. In addition, playlists that were documented will be posted with the audios in the Soundcloud track information.
The first audio post features Carlos Andres Gomez reading a poem titled 'Wordsworth'. The poem was recorded over lanline and was accompanied by the instrumental ((Lyrically Exposed Pt. 2)) by Obscure Disorder after rotation of the Algorithms'((Indigenous B-Boy/Midas Remix)) off of the Banana Clip Vol. 3. Check it out! Updates will be shared on the HHA Blogger space and twitter.com/hiphopalumni for all KRUX 91.5 FM Archive updates, #kruxlife.
Keywords + Tag = Hip Hop Alumni | KRUX 91.5 | Soul Session | The Representation Show | Carlos Andres Gomez | Algorithms | Obscure Disorder | New Mexico State University | soundcloud | archive | playlist | college radio | Las Cruces | NMSU | instrumental | poetry | spoken word | broadcast | FM radio | Southwest