Michigan’s answer to violence: Hip Hop Chess?


 Another version of “Hip Hop Chess”?

After a spate of killings in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, the city is looking for ways to channel the energy of the youth during the summer months. Darlene King has devised an idea that she dubs “Hip Hop Chess.” Sound familiar? When I saw the video, I said to myself that while “hip hop” seems to be used a cliche to attract youth, she has an idea that is a cross between Adisa Banjoko’s Hip Hop Chess Federation and Orrin Hudson’s Besomeone, Inc. Maybe this is the next wave to reach our youth since all other methods seem to be failing miserably in America.

 Full story and video at WOOT-TV site here!
Drum Brief here!

One Comment

  1. I believe in supporting the activities of our community in any form it takes. Chess is an excellent game to chisel away at the self and to learn about planning, tactics, and obtaining results on the chessboard and in life. The HHCA seems to have done both things and power to them.

    As for Michigan finding an answer to violence, this might be too much to ask from any such program. The flower of black on black violence, this is what we are talking about, Hip-Hop being that code word for darkness, is rooted to the soil and history of USA violence. We live in an American society born in violence. (Note that the 35th World Open has found a new home in the historic Valley Forge, Pennsylvania where George Washington and the USA troop found the fortitude to fight for independence.)

    Today the USA is promoting violence abroad and committing violence upon its own population in the forms the extra quarter-pounders with cheese from Mc Donald’s that simply kills you more slowly, to the denial of health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans who will now die sooner than they have to, to even the killing of untold animals in the name of profit. Violence is a fixture in America and it requires more than a program to fix what has been programmed in our hearts and minds. We need to realize this truth: for violence to exist on such a level requires compliance on our part.

    Violence if seem in this light is just a matter of degrees. Violence then should not be magnified of reduced through the hint of the color of the participants. This is where that I take issue in judging the success or failure of the HHCA. If the HHCA simply provides a safe atmosphere for chess and a deeper insight into the fact that violence only hurts the community and plays into the hands of others, then they have accomplished a great service. We all need to find the fortitude to support them.

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