“I don’t have to be only about this rigid, tough-guy masculinity that was passed down in my neighborhood, I’m into poetry.”
Jake Virden learned anti-racism and a love for hip-hop music and culture at a very young age. On this episode of the podcast, Jake talks about growing up in Northeast Minneapolis amidst a huge cultural shift in that area and it’s relationship to North Minneapolis. He talks about how rap music is black music but it’s also working class music, struggle music, the people’s music.
Jake shares stories from over a decade of activism and community organizing. He talks about the importance of being willing to be corrected, checked or redirected when doing organizing and justice work. And Jake thoughtfully unpacks a nuanced understanding of white-skin privilege and how it has been used as part of the narrative to strengthen and continue systemic oppression.
Jake Virden is a writer, performance artist and popular educator focused on the intersections of race, class, culture and ecology. Jake has worked as a facilitator with S.P.E.A.C.(Sustainable Progress Engaging Active Citizens), an organizer with Hope Community’s Parks and Power Campaign, and facilitates trainings on Racial Justice and European American resistance to white supremacy.