We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Making it much easier - The story of the Hip Hop Congress

by Cayce Callaway Thursday, Apr. 26, 2001 at 6:23 PM

New group making progress in the world of social justice.

errorGood things can happen when people hang out together, read and drink beer. Like, for instance, the Hip Hop Congress, a year-old organization spawned at USC during just such a session. Jordan Bromley and his pal Ron Gubitz came up with the idea after Ron returned from a Hip Hop conference where he had a near religious experience with hip hopper Mos Def. After a performance, Gubitz approached the rapper and said "Hey, I'm a white Jewish kid from Bloomington Indiana , how do I fit into hip hop?" Mos Def looked at him and said "you're here right now." Ron came back from the conference with a vision that he shared with Jordan. Jordan laughs as he recollects his response. "Yeah, whatever, if you ever need help, let me know." He chuckles again, "I remember saying that."

The joke is that Jordan, a senior English/Creative Writing major at USC, now spends the bulk of his days on the endeavor that he sees as boosting consciousness through the message of hip hop. After launching a website (www.hiphopcongress.com) and fleshing out their philosophy, the group filed for non-profit status and started to branch out, adding 14 chapters around the country in less than a year, including one at Columbia, Brandeis, Umass at Amherst and Indiana.

Their work revolves around what they see as a growing enlightenment sweeping the hip hop movement. He differentiates between what he calls "conscious hip hop" and "gangsta rap" although he's quick to point out they both have their place in the awareness raising Hip Hop culture. Of the former, he says, people start off listening to the music and then come around to hearing the lyrics. Of the later, he sees the media criticism as misplaced, targeting the artists who are responding to their surroundings rather than the unjust political and social
systems in which they live. "Why are we going against people who are telling everybody else how it's going instead of going against the people who are making it happen?"

Their website is dotted with quotes by artists ranging from Mos Def and Talib Kweli to Bob Marley, the musician Bromley credits with being "the philosophy of Hip Hop." Marley's quote "Don't forget your history. Know your destiny." is front and center on the home page. The message of Hip Hop, Jordan says, delivered in a variety of beats and techno gymnastics, "changes people."

Indeed, the website is looking to do just that. Links lead to pages as diverse as Science, Music and Words of Life, a page with a brief statement about the beliefs of most of the world's major religious practices. The icon that reads "Think" has a rollover graphic that pops up "Think for Yourself." The site is updated often and offers information as varied as concert dates around the country, book reviews and the content of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas.

On a practical level, they are seeking to establish themselves as a "clearinghouse" for groups working for social justice, equality and awareness. "We'd like to be the hub that people come to in order to start doing something in their community." He sees them as a "network of programs we get people to and a network of people we start programs with," equipping groups with the confidence working within a larger network can provide. They have two mainstay events - the Awareness Festival, a lunchtime gathering at a public venue where students/workers have the opportunity to meet and talk to representatives of established socially conscious groups (the USC event allowed hundreds of students to talk to 30 different organizations) and the Elements Show, a concert-like blend of dancing and rap, often, as was the case with the recent LA event, showcasing local talent.

If their first year is any indication, they should be very successful in their drive to disseminate awareness. Their well-planned functions go off without a hitch, lacking the muddled organization that often plagues other similar events. With their youth, passion and idealism as a driving force and natural organizers like Bromley guiding the helm, they truly should achieve their goal of "making the world a better place."

The last paragraph on their home page finishes with another Marley quote, "If you get down and quarrel every day, you're saying prayers to the devils I say. Why not help one another on their way? Makes it much easier." Words the Hip Hop Congress means to live by.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy