Ideas on Culture (hip hop II- black culture)

by Lana Jean Mitchell

Looking at the subject of hip hop culture is relevant, for me at this time, as I see and hear the word spoken by practitioners of hip hop; musicians, MCs (Masters of Ceremony) writers, singers, actors, performers, dancers, pundits, and combinations of the above groups. Successful African American director, producer screen, and play writer Tyler Perry, for example, used the word culture to promote his programs. “Stream Black Culture”, his promotion says. I’ve given the subject (hip hop culture) thought as I think about the general concept of culture, which I talked about in two previous posts.

What I’ve learned in brief sessions of research, is that in Europe during World War I (1914 – 1918), the word hip was used by black jazz artists. To be hip was to be in the know and to be stylish. Hippies in the sixties were in the know about love and tuning in and dropping out. Being in the know is a quality shared by both groups.

The term sock hop ( an informal dance), some say gave the hop to hip hop in Brooklyn apartments where the music was played and danced too. Born of African American, Caribbean, and Hispanic rhythms hip hop originated in the Bronx, New York, USA, says Mary J. Blige talks about the neighborhood competition where she stumbled and a hip hop step was born.

In the reality series Love and Hip Hop (Reunion Edition) show, Yoya, food truck vendor and organizer of the episode featured her entrees and sides of Mac & Cheese, coy fish, oxtails, and Jambalaya, “food of the culture. ”

The NAACP Awards show suggests we “Celebrate the Beauty of Black Culture” and The Grio site wants to “amplify black culture. ” “Dance for the Culture,” says some of the BET (Black Entertainment Television) entertainers.

When I look at the above uses and celebration of Black and hip hop culture I am reminded of the quote by the author, Johann Golfried Herder speaking during the time of India’s independence from the British Empire. Explaining India’s desire to return to aspects of their culture prior to British rule Herder says, “This language in this place for this people.”

Improvisional, entrepreneurial, stylish and creative hip-hop culture, rises from many cultures.


Ideas of Culture – Hip Hop


Lana Jean Mitchell

Still looking at the definitions of culture . I started my look last post with a quote by “Jawaharlal Nehru: ‘Culture is the Widening of the Mind and Spirit.” Nehru was the first Prime Minister of Independent India. I’ve decided to look at Hip Hop’s definition(s) of culture. Watching BET (Black Entertainment Television) a promo for Tyler Perry’s programs reads “Stream Black Culture.” The 2021 Soul Train Awards used the phrase “Dance for the Culture”. The writer in me is intrigued.

More next post.


Culture Is the Widening of the Mind and the Spirit – A quote by Jawaharlal Nehru

The Jawaharlal Nehru quote above I found, while involved in an unrelated project. I’d like to share my musings about it and idea(s) on culture in the short essay below.

Culture Is the Widening of the Mind and the Spirit states Jawahula Nehru former and first Prime Minister of India.

I read his quote as defining the affects of culture: How culture develops the human mind and grows the human spirit.

Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, gives several definitions of culture. 6a) the ideas, customs, skills, arts, etc. of a people or group, that are transferred, communicated, or passed along, as in or to succeeding generations, b) such ideas, customs, etc. of a particular people or group in a particular period, civilization; c) the particular people or group having such ideas, customs, etc.

I would add to this definition, that a culture, appears to be created by the people’s or group’s need to provide food, clothing, and shelter in the place it inhabits/peoples. To me, it speaks to the differences in cultures, and the changes in culture(s).

For example, The Arts of Antiquity: Ancient Nubia and Sudan, Part 1 (c) 1978, The Brooklyn Museum, a department of the Brooklyn Institute, discusses the annual overflowing of the Nile River, which resulted in the settling of the land by desert nomads, who farmed the land around the river, using the river as an irrigation source, and resulting in the civilization of Egypt.

Nehru and the others involved in India’s struggle for independence from Britain, possibly addressed the questions of culture in discussing the National Identity of India, post-colonialism. Amir R. Mufti, in Enlightenment in the Colony The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Post-Colonial Culture, quotes Johann Golfried Herder, saying that languages are markers of national culture – “This language in this place for this people.” There is a sanctity to language which is a result of the national culture.

Culture, widening the mind – giving it breadth and developing its ability to look forward, and into and underneath what is presented and visual. Culture, widening the spirit – spreading it, glorying in it, opening it, making it inclusive.


Timbuktu Film Review


Lana Jean Mitchell

Timbuktu (pronounced tawn book TOO), Mali, Africa has a reputation for being the site of the world’s first university; for being a place of scholars and scholarship; and for being a place of mysteries. In 2015 it also became a venue for the production of a modern day film, Timbuktu, directed by Abderrahmane Sissako. Produced by Orange Studio and Cohen Media Group, the 96 minutes movie has been called “a masterwork, an extraordinary work” by authoritative movie critic for The New Yorker, Richard Brody.

The appearance of the running gazelle, at the beginning of the film sets the theme of the romantic love between the main characters, Shepherd Kidane and Satima his wife; and the pain and love of the people of the city of Timbuktu, who are occupied by Muslim Jihadists. Toya the young daughter of Kidane and Satima, suffers the lost of her family. The result of the killing of one of Kidane’s cows by a fisherman. (Sorry! I didn’t understand the tongue that his name was spoken in and couldn’t find his name in the credits.)

Sissako runs the English language in subtitles, as the characters speak in several languages including, French, English and those of the inhabitants of Timbuktu and the countryside where Kidane, Satima and Toya live.

The film was a nominee for several awards. The Academy Awards, British Academy Film Awards, and a San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards.


Thank You!!

This post celebrates an anniversary of sorts. I just renewed for another year.

The thank you is to you, the three individuals who viewed my site from October 5th to November 1st, 2020. I trust you are still visiting. One of you was a visitor to my About page during that period. Your favorite day to visit, says my statistics is Thursdays, and you get up for your visit at your favorite time of 5:00 a.m. Central Standard Time. Is it the pandemic I wonder or is it just that the early bird gets it fresh?, being an internet website, is international and has been viewed in several countries. So, this thank you is also for the 189 viewers in the following countries, who visited between the years 2017 – 2020.

China 94 views, United States 74 views, France 10 views, Philippines 8 views, Luxembourg 1 view, Seychelles 1 view, and Denmark 1 view.

You also viewed my About page 14 times.

One request, I’d like comments and definitely more likes. Tell me in the comments why you don’t want to Like.

Dropping the mike!


Eyes Can Talk

My new children’s book, Eyes Can Talk, is at the publisher’s. Yes! The publisher’s, I am more than happy to be awaiting my copies at the end of July or beginning of August. (I don’t have a firm date. Still doing the paperwork.) But I just wanted to get the news to you so that you would be ready to get your copy fresh off the press. I’ll have more details when I get a date.

My first book for children A Birthday Story is still available online and at independent booksellers.



Running is several activities. The physical activity is usually the thing that comes to mind when you hear the word. But the running I am talking about is the running that happens when you need to do a lot of things in a short period of time. Like write this post, because I haven’t written one in a couple of months. Maybe I lost someone who came and saw the January, post date and thought I was no longer interested, or not interested enough. (Did’t know I was busy running.) I’m interested. And though that possible someone doesn’t show up on my statistics for visits, I hope he/she returns to my website devoted to diverse, indie writing, to read, what all the running produced.