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Pocho One

Rebel Diaz performance concludes Think Tank

November 20, 2015

The Think Tank ended with a performance-talk from Rebel Diaz, a hip hop group with roots in Chicago, Chile and the South Bronx, NY. The music performance consisted of both visual and auditory components and layered relevant historical sound bytes underneath the live vocals of Rebel Diaz. Each musical performance was followed by a crash course in the historical context of hip hop given by the artists themselves.  

They discussed how hip hop was impacted by immigrant communities in South Bronx, housing projects, anti-gang loitering laws and many other factors. The vocal performances were interactive, as were the informational parts, and both connected many of the themes brought up throughout the Think Tank.

When it was time for the final song, Rebel Diaz asked everyone to stand up and dance. It was at this moment that I decided to stop taking notes for this article. I had attended the entire conference and in doing so I became more than just an “observer.”  

As I got up and looked around, I saw a kid and his mom dancing together, some older community members nodding their heads to the music, previous speakers from the conference swaying and clapping and many members of the Social Justice Institute dancing freely, with pure joy.

At this point, I too joined in the dancing (in a socially awkward way that only I can pull off) and I smiled to myself wondering if there were any other contexts where this particular group of people would be together, dancing to hip hop and singing, “power to the people!”

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