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date: 01 March 2021


Term for the youth culture that originated in the South Bronx, New York, in the 1970s.
  • Eric Bennett


Hip-hop includes Graffiti Art, Break Dancing, and Rap Music, but it is more than the sum of its parts. Hip-hop is a means of creative expression that gives voice to young, ethnic city dwellers. As historian Tricia Rose notes, “Hip-hop is a cultural form that attempts to negotiate the experiences of marginalization, brutally truncated opportunity, and oppression within the cultural imperatives of African American and Caribbean history, identity, and community.”

In 1959 the city of New York began construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway Designed to connect New Jersey and Long Island with Manhattan the freeway project was designed to reflect the needs of white suburban commuters But by causing the destruction of numerous Bronx businesses and apartment complexes the expressway project finished what the decline of federal assistance programs had begun catapulting the Bronx into destitution Longtime white residents fled to the suburbs and slumlords ...

A version of this article originally appeared in Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience.

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