[act-ma] 11/22 Hip Hop and the American Constitution: Race, Rights, and the Raw Life of Citizenship

Charlie Welch cwelch at tecschange.org
Sat Nov 21 07:06:07 PST 2015

Community Church of Boston Presents

Hip Hop and the American Constitution: Race, Rights, and the Raw Life of 

The recent shooting death of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson and 
the choking death of Eric Garner by Officer Daniel Pantaleo have left a 
considerable void in reconciling Black innocence within American law and 
order. In essence, the diffusion of black liberation struggles and the 
embrace of colorblindness as a normative approach to “fixing” Americas’ 
racial issues has allowed the state to not only regain its power over 
the human spirit, but also reclaim its power over re-producing a 
political, social, and legal anti-Black agenda. In the end, discussions 
about the proliferation of race and policing have been submerged under 
the weight of white supremacy and post-racial dialogues. This 
presentation, titled Hip Hop and the American Constitution: Race, 
Rights, and the Raw Life of Citizenship is a serious critique of what we 
can learn from Hip Hop about the fallout of declaring “War On” Black 
people. What began more than twenty years ago as a medium for 
entertainment has morphed into a space for social critique of American 
law and the realities of racialized citizenship. Simply, it argues that 
Hip Hop’s voice, when juxtaposed against American constitutionalism, 
remains a valid no holds barred source for legal critique. Further, it 
provides a voice to the voiceless, and a lens through which to expose 
how anti-Black policing remains a problem for young Black men.

Professor Donald Tibbs’ expertise focuses on the overlapping issues of 
race, law, civil rights and criminal law. The author of “From Black 
Power to Prison Power: The Making of Jones v. North Carolina Prisoners' 
Labor Union,” (Palgrave MacMillan 2012), his publications include “The 
Jena Six and Black Punishment: Law and Raw Life in the Domain of 
Non-Existence,” in the Seattle Journal for Social Justice, “Peeking 
Behind the Iron Curtain: How Law ‘Works’ Behind Prison Walls,” in the 
Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal and "Who Killed Oscar 
Grant?: A Legal Eulogy of the Cultural Logic of Black Hyper-Policing in 
the Post-Civil Rights Era" in the Southern University Journal of Race, 
Gender and Poverty. His latest book is “Hip Hop and the Law”: 2105. He 
teaches at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University in 

Music by The Foundation Movement. Followed by a friendly luncheon, all 
are welcome to stay!

Show Map <https://www.facebook.com/events/192413461092220/#>
The Community Church of Boston 

565 Boylston St, # 2, Boston, Massachusetts 02116  (Copley Square above 
Globe Restaurant)

11 AM  followed by lunch


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