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Hip Hop Ukraine: Music, Race and African Migration

Hip Hop Ukraine: Music, Race and African Migration
By Adriana N. Helbig
Published by Indiana University Press (May 1, 2014)

The eyes of the world have turned to Ukraine recently where protests led to the secession of some regions, and Russian troops claiming Crimea. Debate rages: Is this about ethnicity — some believe the Ukrainian nationalists are fascist white supremacists — or natural gas resources and the conflicting financial interests of Russia and the European Union?

Despite these history-making events, normal life continues for many Ukrainians. “Hip Hop Ukraine” depicts a world of urban music and dance competitions, hip hop parties, and recording studio culture to explore unique sites of interracial encounters among African students, African immigrants and local populations in Ukraine.

Author Adriana N. Helbig combines ethnographic research with music, media and policy analysis to examine how localized forms of hip hop create social and political spaces where an interracial youth culture can address issues of human rights and racial equality.

She maps the complex trajectories of musical influence — African, Soviet, American — to demonstrate how hip hop has become a vehicle for social protest in post-socialist society and an instrument of social change in this critical time.


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