Walking into the Okazaki Conference Room in the Social Work building for the workshop, the room’s composition clearly showed that what was to come would deviate significantly from typical class structures. Chairs were organized in a circle. The only gap in the seating was filled by a whiteboard, on which were drawn two overlapping circles, one labeled “Hip-Hop” and the other “Feminism.” Participants were invited to share their ideas on either term and/or the ways they believed the terms combine using sticky notes. The board was used to instigate discussion about the work Lindley and Valoris do and the stereotypes they work against both within feminism and within hip-hop as feminist, black hip-hop artists.
The pair had a remarkable ability to increase the energy in the room with a simple dance move or line, creating an environment that kept the audience excited, though there weren’t many present. That energy came largely from how the two fed off of each other and fused their passion and sense of humor into their performance.
The most impressive part of the show was the girls’ great creativity, as one began to recognize that they had reimagined popular hip-hop songs to express their own original ideas about gender, race, and sexual equality.