Dr. Raphael Travis talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by alvinwriter.com about his book, The Healing Power of Hip Hop (Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture).
“Hip hop is a fuel for life.” ~Dr. Raphael Travis
Dr. Travis wrote the book, The Healing Power of Hip Hop (Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture), with two audiences in mind: those who are immersed in hip hop culture and those whose only exposure to hip-hop is what they hear over the media. He also had three main goals in mind: to help people understand how hip hop changes life, and that hip hop is a fuel for improvement; to introduce people to a new generation of leaders who he calls “cultural ambassadors” or people who understand how hip hop can be used positively, appreciate the research and celebrate the richness and the empowering aspects of hip hop as a culture.
Dr. Travis clarifies that hip hop is an umbrella term under which have several different core elements - dance (B-boying), graffiti (mural art), MCing (rapping), DJing (which introduced the use of the turntable as an instrument, such as extending the “break” and scratching) and knowledge of self (continuous self-reflection), and that all these values essentially surround the values of self-improvement and community improvement, which is core to hip hop culture. He also notes that DJ Afrika Bambaataa created the idea of bringing all of these elements together in the spirit of “doing something different” under the umbrella of hip hop.
Dr. Travis notes that most people’s image of hip hop comes from what they hear on the radio, which gives a limited idea of what hip hop is about, since what is presented in the mainstream media is very narrow compared to the entire culture. He notes that, based on research, there has been a qualitative increase in the glorification of substances and violence presented in mainstream media, and also remarks that, while there are more empowering hip hop songs out in the market today, these might not be as accessible as those released in mainstream media.
In education, Dr. Travis notes the two ways in which hip hop can be used: creating a rhyme to help people memorize something (the most common type); and using hip hop itself to help people learn about the world (the newer generation and the method used by Dr. Christopher Emdin).
Dr. Raphael Travis’s book, The Healing Power of Hip (Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture), can be found on amazon.com.
Purchase on Amazon: The Healing Power of Hip Hop The Healing Power of Hip Hop (Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture)