[In response to “Bridging the Gap: Asheville’s Black Hip-hop Artists and Venue Bookers Seek Common Ground,” Jan. 17, Xpress]: Love the Mountain Xpress. Thank you for being here. I am a single mom raising a 16-year-old neurodiverse, nonverbal, awesome man. Times too many to count, I have wanted to write a letter expressing my views regarding different issues. I just never can find the time. Even this letter is being done in segments.
It’s a scary world out there in the artificial “reality” that dictates and controls most of the planet. Trying to raise and empower our children to be true is challenging to say the least.
My son loves hip-hop. Radical hip-hop at that. There is nowhere I have found for him to see a show in Asheville. Where do the teenagers go in the evening around here?
Deven enjoys most music unless I play it. It’s hard to find any youth centers or music venues for our youth. Especially in the winter, there is a greater need for things to do at night. What is there for all of them to do? Music dance is a perfect socially constructive outlet for our youth. Where is this in Asheville? And particularly, where is hip-hop?
Let’s name it. Discrimination based on race, based on social class, based on capitalism. That’s what’s going on with hip-hop in this “socially progressive” town.
— Cheryl Williams