Updated: Jun 5, 2020
We are heartbroken by the murder of George Floyd and the endless list of people whose lives have been taken by police violence in our communities and across our country. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and all people oppressed by an unjustified system of brutality towards Black and Brown citizens. Hip Hop Culture is a product of Black culture and as self identified members of Breakin and Hip Hop, it is our duty to stand up with and for the pioneers of the culture and dance.
The murder by an officer kneeling on his throat for over 8 minutes is only one of thousands that happen every single year in this country. This country was literally built on the backs of slave labor. For 400 years Black men and women have been systematically oppressed by an unjust “justice” system. It was in response to this oppression that much of Black arts and culture were born, including Hip Hop and Breakin.
Black art has shaped popular culture in every way since long before the rise of Hip Hop. Jazz, Funk, Soul and Rock’n’Roll have defined American dance and music for multiple generations. Knowing this history we know our place as guests of the culture. We do not say we are guests with any feeling of shame or of not belonging, but with gratitude for something that has given us passion and a voice. We love Hip Hop and Hip Hop is Black.
The strength of our community is at a level it has never been before. Breakin’ is on the cusp of the Olympics. It is truly a global movement and in that there is great power. But with that power comes a responsibility to educate our selves and our students of the injustices happening to the people who shared Breakin’ with us. Education is the key to fighting back.
We stand together in this moment, because George Floyd’s life mattered. BLACK LIVES MATTER! There is more at stake today than ever before and “It’s bigger than HIP HOP” could never have been more significant. Human Rights are being fought over. The fight is for a clean planet, health care, prison reform, education reform, wage gap disparity, immigrant justice, etc. and it begins by ensuring Civil Rights to all people. Because, while these issues affect Black and Brown people disproportionately, they are being used to oppress us all.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have felt the need to release such a statement. However, we know our voices can not be silent while this injustice continues. Today we are witnessing historic upheaval and unrest as our communities take to the streets to protest this violent system. The People have spoken. We are saying "ENOUGH!" We have reached a breaking point. The moment has come, enough is enough. We must fight the pervasive racism in our country. We must end racist policing. We must stand together.
Black Lives Matter! Black Culture Matters! Black Art Matters! Black Futures Matter!