The Beats & Bars program underlines the difficult violence-prevention work that still needs doing in our backyard | Bleader

The Beats & Bars program underlines the difficult violence-prevention work that still needs doing in our backyard

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Shootings in Chicago have spiked this year—we're on track to pass 700 homicides, a number the city hasn't seen in nearly two decades. It's difficult to get your head around so much loss of life, to say nothing of the psychological and emotional damage it does to the communities that endure the worst of it. The students involved in Little Village Lawndale High School's Beats & Bars rap about growing up in neighborhoods wracked by violence on the music-making program's second release of the year, the new The Lawndale Project. Atop the plinking synths of "I Don't Know," three of the students—their stage names are Bravo, Lil Miah, and Godspeed—grimly note that a kid has to "keep my head down low / Because they bound to snatch a soul." After Trump's election win, it seems harder than ever to know where we can focus our attention in order to make real progress on this front—especially with Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon, a prominent exponent of racial hatred, in line to become senior White House adviser. As the rappers of Beats & Bars show, we still desperately need to help our neighbors.




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