Hip-hop doc cancelled

Hairston makes history with her still/video camera. Photo by Leon Laing.

“I want the local artists to know their history,” Michele Hairston affirmed.

She answered her calling by becoming a hip-hop educator, historian, photographer and videographer. Hairston, aka Zulu Queen, is also part of the Universal Zulu Nation, an international hip-hop awareness group formed by hip-hop vet Afrika Bambaataa. 

Hairston cancelled her debut for her first documentary, Life of the Young Breakers. The showing was scheduled for Jan. 15 at Midtown Cinema in Harrisburg. She cancelled the doc debut “due to a major malfunction with the footage.” You can still witness Hairston’s breakdance competition on Jan. 16. The event runs from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 2900 N. Sixth St. in Harrisburg.

Life of the Young Breakers explores the lives of Hairston’s Harrisburg City Breakers (HCB). “The kids came up with the concept [for the documentary],” she explained. “They have a lot of issues in their lives.” Hairston began filming Life of the Young Breakers in 2009. “I’m still working on it,” she said during our interview on Jan 1. What does Hairston expect to gain from her film? She hopes her audience realizes that this area needs more activities for the youth.

She established HCB in 2003 (the same year I established vigoronline).  Her eight breakdancers (one girl and seven boys) range from ages 10 to 16. The North Philadelphia native, who currently resides in Harrisburg, said she plans to do more videography in 2011. She took the DIY approach when delving into videography. She said she grew tired of relying on other people. Most recently, she filmed the video for local rapper Wata. She will also continue other hip-hop activities, such as her after-school program for breakdancing and her work for the Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music.

“Hip-hop began in 1973, she explained. “Understand that your culture saved so many lives…”

1 Response to “Hip-hop doc cancelled”

  1. 1 April Deonna January 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Great Job Michelle! I am so proud of you.

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