The South Bronx, or the “State of Nature”

  • Jim Vernon


This chapter details the unique socio-economic conditions in the South Bronx, just prior to the birth of Hip Hop. The sudden roll-back of the political changes won by the Civil Rights and Black Power struggles induced a form of state abandonment so severe that the region effectively became an isolated, stateless territory, signalling a return to the “state of nature” from which Hegel claims art, as a cultural force, necessarily emerges. Produced by adolescents who never knew the protections of a modern civil society, Hip Hop culture reflects less anger at the state which stifled or neglected them than the compelled, but heroic, resurgence of the most immediate means through which humanity transforms itself and its world into reflections of its free, creative essence.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim Vernon
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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