The inaugural “Hip-Hop & Activism Series,” featuring events that examine how hip-hop can spur social change, begins Tuesday, Feb. 7.
“Hip-hop started in the Bronx in the 1970s by economically disenfranchised African Americans and Latinos looking for an outlet for social and political commentary,” says Kai Alexis Smith, a university subject librarian who organized the series. “We’re at a time in this country where we need to empower our students and give them the tools to create change. Our students have so many talents. That change could manifest in many ways, from art to research and so much more.”
- Feb. 7: Discussion on Hip-Hop and Activism
A moderator will lead the discussion featuring Professor Analena Hassberg of the ethnic and women’s studies department and political science Professor Mario Guerrero. Pizza will be served.
- Feb. 9: “Hip Hop Beyond Beats & Rhymes”
The documentary tackles issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in the hip-hop culture. It includes interviews with rappers such as Mos Def, Fat Joe, Chuck D and Jadakiss, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, and young women at Spelman College. Professor. Hassberg will facilitate a discussion following the screening.
- Feb. 15: “Slingshot Hip-Hop”
The film explores the history of Palestinian rappers and how they use hip-hop to express their realities and hardships, and surmount divisions imposed by occupation and poverty. History Professor Mahmood Ibrahim will lead a conversation following the film.
- Feb. 21: Discussion on Police Brutality
A moderator will guide a discussion on police brutality and activism. The panel includes Professor Jose Aguilar-Hernandez from the ethnic and women’s studies department; Lauren Nile, interim director of training and professional development; and professors Guerrero and Hassberg. Pizza will be provided.
- Feb. 28: Spoken Word Performance
Performers are still being scheduled for the event at the Library’s Grand Reading Room. Interested students should contact Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The films and the panel discussions will begin at noon in the University Library Special Events Room on the fourth floor. For more information about this series, visit https://tinyurl.com/hiphopreg or contact Smith at email@example.com.
For those who want to learn more about hip-hop, Smith has compiled a LibGuide on “Hip Hop and Activism.” Select books from the guide will be on reserve for check out.
The series is sponsored by the University Library and the African American Student Center in collaboration with the ethnic and women’s studies and political science departments.