The Curators of Hip Hop teamed up with The City of Tallahassee Tuesday night to host the 2nd annual “Our Culture, Our History” event at the Jack L. McLean Community Center.
The Curators of Hip-Hop use the hip-hop culture to reach, educate, and inspire our youth to be positive individuals in society. “Our Culture Our History” promotes literacy, black history, and hip-hop culture.
Curators of Hip-Hop co-founder and FAMU alumnus Jimmie Thomas said that being a Tallahassee native made it more imperative to stay involved.
“I’m from Tallahassee, it’s my priority to bring things back to my community,” Thomas said. “We want to bring back the culture of hip hop.”
There were performances from local artists, break-dancers, and poets. The Curators of Hip-Hop donate more than 200 books to the community.
Artist David Ritchey, commonly known as “Kip,” said that having local artists at “Our Culture, Our History,” was important for the community to see.
“Having Local Artists at the event allows the community to broaden their horizon beyond the daily 9-5 routine,” Ritchey said.
The highlight of the night was a panel discussion about knowing your rights.
The panel included attorneys, candidates for the State Attorney’s Office, Tallahassee Police Department, Tallahassee Sherriff’s Department, former judges, and the Dream Defenders.
Panelist and former judge Judith Warren Hawkins said that it’s important to know your rights, especially when getting stopped by police.
“You don’t want to risk dying pleading your case, you want to be alive to fight it later,” Hawkins said.
Thomas said that hearing statements from an officer’s point of view was an important aspect of the panel discussion.
“Given the state of the community, it was a good idea to focus more on law enforcement,” Thomas said.
Curators of Hip Hop co-founder and FAMU alumnus Jermaine Fletcher said hip-hop is always going to be a tool to help educate the masses.
Fletcher said, “We started as a necessity and we will continue to be around for a necessity.”