Definition of a B-Girl: Seven minutes with hip hop icon, Roxanne Shante

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Ark Republic sat down with iconic old school, b-girl, Roxanne Shante to talk about aspects of her life rarely covered since her resurgence in the entertainment industry with the release of a Netflix film based on her life, Roxanne Roxanne.

Balancing the limelight again, Roxanne Shante discussed how she navigated the music industry as one of the first female emcees, as well as, being a commercially successful hip hop artist early on in the genre’s life span. From her attribute as a member of the Five Percent Nation to the current state of hip hop, she took us on a brief journey of old school hip hop beyond the stage performance.

NEW YORK, NY – 19 March 2018: (L-R) Michael Larnell, Roxanne Shante and Ted Sarandos attend the ‘Roxanne Roxanne’ New York Premiere at SVA Theater.

We met up with the mother of three who now lives in Newark, New Jersey in Chicago. She was there as the special guest of a conference called, Break Bread & Build. An event hosted by Alternative Education Resource Institute (AERI), Ark Republic and The Chicago Teachers Union Foundation, that fused academia, artistry and the community, Break Bread & Build invited scholars and Roxanne Shante to talk about social justice through the lens of hip hop.

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Kaia Niambi Shivers covers diaspora, news and features.
Tasha Curtis is an editor for film and TV.

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