Hip-Hop has long been demonized for its militant language and outlawed narrative as a part of American society. But, despite its controversy it has remained a source of encouragement to many as its influence spreads across the globe. Hip-hop's origins are undoubtedly African-American, this being a key reason why its message resonates specifically in black youths, an increasingly ostracized sect of society. Uses of hip-hop for empowerment of black youths through racial authenticity, and positive racial socialization are observed. Therapeutic and educational implications with these components are assessed and considered.
Hip-Hop is the love child of the Civil Rights Movement, an innovative, provocative and candid voice reminiscent of " power to the people. " It is a nuanced soul of black folks, undoubtedly an essence of African-American culture and authenticity. Hip-Hops influence is global, with a fan base consisting of just about everybody, with consumers primarily consisting of white privileged suburban youth. Nonetheless hip-hop has its roots unquestionably within the black community and represents a relevant subculture in African-American youths. Therefore hip-hop should be considered beyond its original status of a genre but as an essential learning tool to understand a consistently misunderstood and isolated faction of people. The Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA contends that Hip-Hop is not just a genre of music but also a complex system of ideas values and concepts that reflect newly emerging and ever-changing creative correlative expressive mechanisms including but not limited to song, poetry, film and fashion (quote). This contemporary art form utilizes some of the black community's most pervasive weapons; aggressive imagery, music and the art of storytelling. Here we will consider hip-hops role in racial authenticity and its history of social empowerment for African-Americans, its role as a fundamental source of positive racial socialization for black youths and in what ways its elements can be utilized in classroom and therapeutic settings involving urban youth.