The Breakers Park Initiative
In recent years, Breakin has seen a resurgence in popularity. In 2024, it will be an official Olympic sport for the first time. This is a major milestone for Breakin, and it has the potential to open up new opportunities for inner city youth. It is characterized by acrobatic moves, such as head spins, handstands, and freezes. Breakin was created by African American and Latino youth in the South Bronx.
"I Grew up during the time the Bronx was a burnt town/ That's probably why the eternal flame must emerge now"- godHead The General
The art form known as “Breakin” emerged in the South Bronx in the early 1970s, during a time of economic social hardship in the inner city. And Hip Hop was born out of the need for self-expression and community among young people who felt marginalized and ignored by society. But Breakin, on the other hand, was a way for young people to release their energy and have fun in a safe and positive environment. But perhaps the most important impact of Hip Hop and Breakin has been its ability to reduce violence between neighborhoods. In the early days of Hip Hop, the South Bronx was a dangerous place, where gangs ruled the streets and violence was a way of life. But Hip Hop and breakin provided a safe and positive outlet for the youth that helped to reduce gang violence and improve community relations. Brentin Mock wrote an interesting piece about it in Bloomberg a few years back. It was "iight".
"Breaking or b-boying is generally misconstrued or incorrectly termed as 'breakdancing'. Breakdancing is a term spawned from the loins of the media's philistinism, socialism, and naïveté at that time. With no true knowledge of the hip-hop diaspora but with an ineradicable need to define it for the nescient masses, the term breakdancing was born. Most breakers take great offense to the term." - Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory
Philadelphia is a city with a rich history of Hip Hop Culture including the birth place of modern graffiti (See Cornbread The Legend). Philadelphia is also a city with a high rate of violence among teens. In 2022, there were over 500 shootings involving teens in Philadelphia. Today, Breakin is still a powerful force for good in the inner city. It provides young people with a way to express themselves, connect with others, and build a positive future for themselves. It also helps to break down negative stereotypes and builds bridges between different cultures. Because Hip-Hop doesn't care about your race, just your skill. Just take a trip to "The Gathering", Philadelphia's longest running Hip Hop event. Every last Thursday of the month at The Rotunda on 40th & Chestnut in West Philly B-Boys & B Girls gather to celebrate Hip Hop Culture and expression! There is no event like it in Philly. That's why we need more Hip Hop Infrastructure!
"An important thing to clarify is that the term 'Break dancing' is wrong, I read that in many magazines but that is a media term. The correct term is 'Breakin', people who do it are B-Boys and B-Girls. The term 'Break dancing' has to be thrown out of the dance vocabulary."- Timothy "Popin' Pete" Solomon;
The Hip Hop Foundations, “Breakers Park” would be a great way to address both of these issues. Our Breakers Park would provide a safe and positive space for inner city youth to express themselves through dance. It would also give them a chance to learn from experienced Breakers which can help them to compete in local and national competitions. A park for Breakers could also help to curb violence among teens. It is a physically demanding activity that requires discipline and focus. It can help to channel the energy of young people in a positive way and to reduce their risk of engaging in risky behaviors.
One of the ways that Hip Hop and Breakin stopped violence was by providing a way for young people to express themselves. In the 1970s, the South Bronx was a very violent place. It was wild, Sun! There were high rates of gang violence, and many people were afraid to go outside. Hip Hop and Breakin gave young people a way to express themselves without resorting to violence. They could rap about their experiences or dance their frustrations out.
Another way that Hip Hop and Breakin stopped violence was by providing a safe space for inner city youth to congregate. In the 1970s, there were few safe places for young people to go. Many of the parks and playgrounds in the South Bronx were closed or in disrepair. Hip Hop and Breakin events provided a safe space for young people to socialize and to express themselves.
Finally, Hip Hop and Breakin stopped violence by giving our youth a positive outlet for their energy. In the 1970s, many young people in the South Bronx were idle. They had few opportunities for recreation or education. Hip Hop and Breakin gave these young people something to do with their time. They could practice their rhymes, learn new dance moves, or compete in battles. The Hip Hop Foundation believes this is truly necessary and needed in our community today.
Breakin can also help to build self-confidence and self-esteem, which can reduce the risk of violence. Breakers Park would be a great way to promote Hip Hop Culture and pride in our youth. The park would help to raise awareness of Breakin, being active and the positive benefits it brings about. In addition to the benefits for urban youth, Breakers Park would also be a great asset for the city of Philadelphia. It would attract tourists and generate economic activity. It would also help to revitalize the city's urban core and to create a more vibrant and inclusive community. Especially with so much inner city blight and abandoned lots in the hood these days.
How Breakers Park Can Help Inner City Youth Make It to the Olympics
In 2024, Breakin will be an official Olympic sport for the first time. This means that inner city youth who are passionate about the artform now have the chance to compete at the highest level of their sport. There are multiple ways that our youth can make it to the Olympics in Breakin. One way is to train with a qualified coach. There are many Breakin coaches who work with young people, and they can provide the instruction and guidance that young athletes need to reach their full potential. This is part of the Hip Hop history, education and theory after school program our Foundation is proposing.
Another way to make it to the Olympics is to compete in local and national competitions. There are many Breakin competitions held throughout the year, and these competitions provide young athletes with the opportunity to test their skills against other top competitors.
In conclusion, Hip Hop and Breakin have helped to reduce violence between neighborhoods by providing a sense of community, a way to express oneself creatively, and a safe space to socialize and compete in a non-violent way. It has had a profound impact on American culture. It’s helped to shape the way that we think about race, class, and poverty. It has also helped to shape the way that we think about violence.
The Hip Hop Foundation has created a proposal, budget & plan to develop the first Breakin park in Philadelphia, and we need the community's help. We are looking for volunteers, grant writers, committee members, board members, donors, sponsors, interns and more. Get involved and don't just support Hip Hop. Represent it!