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The kids love Hip-Hop and that's a fact. You don't have to love it yourself, but you should at the very least be aware of what your children are listening to and what influence their musical tastes have on their lives. Have a rap session about rap music. I doesn't hurt to find out what they are thinking, and actually listen. Watch some music videos, or go to a trendy movie, do something that gets the conversation rolling.

Personally speaking, as someone who can see both the negative and postive aspects of Hip Hop, I think its important to connect with young people on a hip-hop cultural level. You need to be able to at least hear where they are coming from and more importantly be able to highlight the postive contributions one can find within Hip Hop culture. If you feel like the focus is too much one women and cars, shift the focus to other aspects of Hip Hop culture that help articulate the Black Experience and contribute to making ourlives better.

A good place to start is Hip Hop Helpers, a listing I created to explore how Hip Hop Artists and other celebrities of color bring positive growth and development back to the communities in which they were born by creating youth programs and community organizations. Getting your child to try something new could be as simple as exposing them to an outreach program initiated by one of their favorite artists. And I know, there are those who believe such organizations are nothing more than publicity stunts, but I genuinely believe that if they can help one child actualize their dreams, that very fact goes beyond a mere attempt at being in the lime light.

Visit Hip Hop Helpers, and learn more about the different types of community programs started by Hip Hop artists and Black Celebrities. Perhaps you will find something in your area, or at the very least, the list could spark your interest in finding other African American Youth programs.

Hip Hop Helpers
Featured on A Better Today, A Brighter Tomorrow
a resource guide for African American parents and students

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