Akua Naru: Putting it in Our Own Words | 30 Days Unchained : Day 5 Monday 14 January, 2013

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30 Days Unchained/#30unchained | Day: 5 – 1/14/13 | Inspiration: Akua Naru Speaking of what she wants to see change, in terms of women’s representation in hip hop, Akua Naru tells Live Unchained: “We are so often talked about, but we are never humanized and heard. We are almost never in first person…I would like […]

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30 Days Unchained/#30unchained | Day: 5 – 1/14/13 | Inspiration: Akua Naru

Speaking of what she wants to see change, in terms of women’s representation in hip hop, Akua Naru tells Live Unchained: “We are so often talked about, but we are never humanized and heard. We are almost never in first person…I would like to see black women represented as the human beings that we are in real life. I would like for the negative dialogue and vocabulary (bitch, hoe, etc.) about and around us to change…I would also like to see more female emcees get on the mic and tell their stories.” What we really appreciate about Akua is that as a female emcee with messages that are meaningful without being preachy or cliché and music that is innovative and classic at the same time, she really IS what she wants from hip hop.

And, Akua is right when she adds: “This [limited representation of women] is not limited to hip hop, hip hop is just a microcosm of something larger.” Our goal for Live Unchained is to be an intervention in the “something larger,” the media that isn’t reflecting the diversity of our experiences, dreams, perspective, nationalities, languages (and I could go on) as black women. Akua’s thoughts are the inspiration for today’s challenge…

Challenge (Find, Create or Remix an image that answers the question): What images do you want to see more of in the media?

Share your image(s) on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and be sure to tag @liveunchained and use the hashtag #30unchained so we can shout you out! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter to keep up with the latest #30unchained news.

Live Unchained: How would you like to see black women’s representation in hip hop change? What do you think it will take for us to get there?

Akua Naru: I would like to see black women represented as the human beings that we are in real life. I would like for the negative dialogue and vocabulary (bitch, hoe, etc.) about and around us to change. This is not limited to hip hop, hip hop is just a microcosm of something larger. I would also like to see more female emcees get on the mic and tell their stories.

I think that the Internet is a wonderful tool, and has given a lot of artists a platform. Using the internet as a tool, I think it might take for people to mobilize in support of artists who they feel are talented and positive representatives, this might show the industry that there is a market, and could challenge record companies to move away from those old oppressive narratives and representations.

LU: What do you think is most important that black women know about themselves?

AN: There are so many things. I would say that it is important that we know that we are beautiful, in our skin, with our hair, and our African features, our hearts, just as we are. That it is important that we have the platform and courage to tell our stories. It is also very important that we support our sisters at all costs.

LU: What does living unchained mean to you?

AN: Living unchained means living life deliberately, conscious and aware, not just simply surviving. Free.

This interview is excerpted from a full feature with the artist. View the original article here.

30 Days Unchained/#30unchained is an interactive creative countdown to the Live Unchained Anniversary Celebration. Everyday for 30 days, we’ll share some of our most popular interviews with Live Unchained featured artists. They include women creatives of various disciplines from across the African diaspora. Her creative journey will be the inspiration for your challenge. To participate simply respond to the challenge question with images (not words). Share it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and be sure to tag @liveunchained so we can shout you out – it’s that simple. Learn more about 30 Days Unchained, including rules and prizes here. Get your daily challenge from Thursday, January 10th through the day of the big bash on Friday, February 8th at www.liveunchained.com.

Written by Kathryn Buford

Photography credit: David Doenges

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