Dehumanised and Imprisoned, an insight into the revealing Netflix Documentary 13th. Such a narrative is extremely important, 13th is powerful and eye opening, accurately depicted story that allows a deep understanding into the lives of the oppressed.
13th brought me to tears, Tears of sadness, deep sadness. A sadness that stems from grown up with and positively being influenced and lead by strong Black males. Men of substance and intellect who have a lot to offer the world, fortunately for them, they’ve had the opportunity to live a progressive life, which wasn’t the case for young Black Men in the past. Innocent lives of young Black Men were taken away because of government systems that were created by the oppressor, designed to imprison and take away their freedom and livelihood for their monetary benefits and control. The biggest casualty being the Black Man.
In America, Black men make up 46% of Prisoners, bearing in mind Black People only account for 12.2% of the entire population which is absolutely astonishing! Described as ‘Super Predators’ during Bill Clintons’ reign as president, black men were subjected to longer and tougher prison sentences for petty crimes. A detrimental description of the Black man, which lead to an epidemic fear of the Black Man. A fear felt by both White and Black people, due to a media smear campaign that brainwashed the large majority of a lost nation. A stereotype that has forever haunted the Black Man, the term ‘Super Predator’ created a stereotype that today is still the unfortunate narrative!
In 2016, police brutality and systematic oppression is still very prominent. Living in a Social Media era visuals circulate immediately despite how gruesome they are. We as a society have been subjected to first-hand videos of the unfortunate killings of innocent young black men across the United States.
Social Media has given us the access to the actions of law enforcement. We have seen policemen get away with first degree murder! It is bitter sweet, as we have knowledge and evidence but still we’re unable to stop their actions, with the Law on their side and a blue code of secrecy, the question is What Action Can We As A Global Society Do To Make Changes??
As a very big fan of Hip Hop music, I am appreciative of the music and the people behind the talent. Black people have created a culture that has taken on a world of its own. Hip Hop music is more than just words and a beat, it is a culture that sees no race, no colour or economic status. Hip Hop unites people globally purely on the strength of Music. Music that originally derived from the disadvantaged black man, for the disadvantaged black man. In 2016 Hip Hop music is the biggest influencer globally, from the music to the lifestyle, culture, dress code and the language. It’s all Hip Hop!
Reflecting on the Hip Hop culture as a whole and analysing the contradictions between the fear of black men and the global love of the hip hop culture. I began dissecting the contradictions between the fear and the influence which is ironic, people fearing something they imitate in all aspects of their lives. A fear that many non-black parents have, the worry of their children being caught up in a ‘Dangerous’ lifestyle of gangs, drugs and violence, which is the narrative of Hip Hop culture to those who are ignorant. It is hearsay based on the media’s perception of the black man and its culture which is perceived a negative.
Is the power of Hip Hop greater than the ‘Hate’ of the Black man? Despite the negative media portrayal of black males. The power of the internet means that the government cannot stop the force that is the black man and its culture. Despite their attempt too, from the incarceration of certain rappers and the ‘Hip Hop Police’ on constant patrol, it hasn’t stopped black men from succeeding against all odds. Successful black men such as Jay Z, P Diddy, Kanye West are all testament to the power of the music.
Long may black men continue to showcase their importance, talent and intellect on bigger and bigger platforms globally! May they continue to disregard negative notions that depict them wrongfully, and may the NEVER allow people’s perception to cloud their dreams! we are proud and appreciate you!!