SECT 1: Legendary Roots

SECT 1 – Legendary Roots:

WEEK #1 Introductions, class format, and expectations

Lecture: The urban context – the South Bronx

  1. The political context – a Post-civil rights era
  2. Black Panthers, Young Lords and street gangs such as the Savage Skulls, Nomads, and the Ghetto Brothers
  3. An overview of US government programs (COINTELPRO) and their methods utilized to dismantle political organizations and street gangs
  4. Film scenes from: Chalfant, Henry & Fecher, Rita. 1993. “Flying Cut Sleeves.” New York: Sleeping Dog Films and “Ain’t Gonna Eat My Mind”


Readings: Ch. 1-3. Chang, Jeff. 2005. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. St. Martin’s Press: New York

Rose, Tricia. 1999. “Voices from the Margins: Rap Music and Contemporary Black Cultural Production” In Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Connecticut: Wesleyan University.

Austin, Joe. 2001. “Writing Graffiti in the Public Sphere: The Construction of Writing as an Urban Problem.” Taking the Train: Youth, Urban Crisis, Graffiti. New York: Columbia University Press.


  1. The urban context continued: voices (or innovation?) from the margins
  2. Discussion: Hip-Hop’s big bang – “Rapper’s Delight” (SugarHill Gang) vs. “The Message” (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five)
  3. Film: Chalfant, Henry and Silver, Tony.1984. Style Wars. New York: Plexifilms.

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