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Working for JusticeA Handbook of Prison Education and Activism$
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Stephen John Hartnett, Eleanor Novek, and Jennifer K. Wood

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037702

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037702.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

“Prisoners Rise, Rise, Rise!”

“Prisoners Rise, Rise, Rise!”

Hip Hop as a Ciceronian Approach to Prison Protest and Community Care

(p.160) Chapter 8 “Prisoners Rise, Rise, Rise!”
Working for Justice

Craig Lee Engstrom

Derrick L. Williams

University of Illinois Press

This chapter provides a rhetorical analysis of “consciousness-raising hip-hop.” Merging personal stories with an encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary pop culture, it argues that a politically savvy subgenre of hip-hop artists are raising awareness about incarceration in the black community and producing effective strategies for community activism. The hip-hop movement plays an important role in illuminating the problems of the prison-industrial complex by creating spaces of prison protest and modeling sources of community care. The analysis of hip-hop focuses on the artists, music, and (life)styles that promote a type of citizen-orator that is Ciceronian in character. Particular attention is given to those hip-hop artists who fit the definition of “consciousness-raising” by providing hope to prisoners and communities working to transform the U.S. criminal-justice system.

Keywords:   hip-hop, consciousness-raising, contemporary pop culture, hip-hop artists, incarceration, black community, community activism, prison protest, citizen-orator

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