Lynne d Johnson



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09.04.07 12:13 PM

Call for Submissions: It Ain't My Fault: Blame it on Hip-Hop, Volume 4 Issue 1

Many believe rap music to be culpable for the failing within Black communities. Jay-Z and Lil’ Jon have become more popular targets than racism and poverty for political pundits and self-appointed race men. The WBL Journal staff is looking for submissions that address this re-emerging phenomenon. The overarching theme for this issue is “It Ain't My Fault: Blame it on Hip-Hop,” but below you will find themes to guide your research.

From C. Delores Tucker to Bill Cosby: Conservative Attacks in Black Face
In the past 10 years, we have seen a record number of Black and Latino men and women running for elected office as Democrats, Republicans and Independents. The writer can delve into explanations for Black and Latino leaders’ support of more conservative candidates, such as Russell Simmons backing Michael Bloomberg in New York and Michael Steele in Maryland. Authors could also explore why some hip-hop artists, such as 50 Cent and Eazy E, and activists like Jeff Johnson are beginning to support more conservative candidates. One can also address Mr. Cosby’s disparaging remarks about hip-hop dialects and poor communities of color. One can also examine the Citizen Change and Vote or Die campaigns, their agendas and effectiveness. (Russell Simmons’ work with the Urban Leagues, "Hip-Hop Reads Project").

Panthers: Hip-Hop’s Black and Brown Radical Roots
Many people refer to hip-hop as a “multicultural movement.” Interestingly enough, very few hip-hop artists have made it a priority to move beyond discussing this phenomenon as a movement of multicultural consumers. The author should look at how hip-hop generation activists and organizers are moving beyond the black/white racial dichotomy of the 20th century. With the immigration debate, terror bills and the general xenophobia pumped out of your local TV and radio station, how are hip-hop generation youth moving beyond, working through or navigating around personal racial politics? What effect is this environment having upon the state of the individual communities in America across color lines? Ideally, authors should place hip-hop within a historical context of Black and Latino radical activists who worked across racial boundaries.

Parental Advisory: A History of Censoring Black Speech
The author can investigate and build a timeline of censorship of Black music and political speech. One can also explore the ramifications of such censorship. We are trying to convey a link between the two, and show that Black music and political commentary are often one in the same. Writers can also look at how government agencies such as the FBI and local police have followed rap artists such as NWA and 2 Live Crew, much like they did individuals and organizations like Amiri Baraka and the Black Panther Party. Tipper Gore, Bill Clinton, and Rush Limbaugh have all tried to use their influence to silence rappers, but to what end?

Ridin’ Dirty on 85: Rap’s Great Migration to the South
On their most basic level, articles covering this topic should look at how New York-based rap artists have responded to the great remigration of Black people and culture to the South. This section is intended to provide a contemporary look at the state of rap music and its migration to the south. This phenomenon should not be looked at in a vacuum but rather be tied to census data outlining the impact of African American Migration from the Northeast to the South and Midwest. This migration of culture need not just be tied to the music itself, but to the democratization of access to technology.

Same Old Song: The Blues, Gospel and Hip-hop
Firstly, one can document the critique from the religious establishment of Black popular music and contemporary gospel. In this section, we are especially interested in the effect of denigrating Black popular culture in African American Churches. It would also be important to look at examples of how churches have appropriated Black popular culture in the creation of “gospel happy hours,” “hip-hop choirs,” and even “hip-hop churches.” In addition, the author could explore the explosion of Christian hip-hop and the fusion of traditional gospel styles and hip-hop. One can also write about how fringe religious sects such as the Nation of Islam and the Five Percent Nation exploit hip-hop as a vehicle for proselytizing their dogma. It would be appropriate to examine the use of hip-hop to promote Islam, and how that stands in opposition or solidarity with Muslim and Christian communities. This article can consist of interviews, essays or scholarly reviews outlining the history of condemnation and celebrations of contemporary Black music by Black churches or mosques.

From Bridging the Gap to Passing the Torch: Where Do We Go From Here?
This article should examine bonds made between civil rights generation and current youth activists in attempts to make mutual progress.

Submission Forms
Scholarly Submissions
Research Papers
Visual Art
Creative Writing
Short Stories

Process of Submitting
All submissions are accepted on a continuous basis and need not be limited to the themes outlined below. All submissions designated as scholarly require an abstract of 150 words or less and up to five key words. All scholarly submissions should also follow the APA style guide. Please send all submissions to:, or in the case of compact discs: WB&L Journal / 1524 Newton. St. NW / Washington, D.C. 20010. Deadline for submission for this issue is November 19, 2007. The staff of WBL do not consider work that has been previously published and all authors should expect minimally a year before work will be published if selected.

All submissions should use the following format parameters as a guide and should be submitted as an attachment in 12 point, Times New Roman font. The author’s inability to submit work that reflects these parameters will impact whether work is chosen for publication in print and/or electronically.

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