All Hip Hop
As the ongoing debate over misogyny and Hip-Hop rages on Rap Sessions, a 10-city speaking tour, will launch in March to examine the role Hip-Hop plays in influencing relationships between young women and men. The Rap Sessions speaking tour will Kick of at Purdue University on March 5 and concludes at the University of California in April. Panelists include Duke University professor Mark Anthony Neal, Hip-Hop journalist Joan Morgan (When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: My Life as a Hip-Hop Feminist), filmmaker Byron Hurt (director of Beyond Beats and Rhymes) and professor Tracy Sharpley-Whiting, director of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. Rap Sessions will focus on the stereotypical representations of women and men in the Hip-Hop generation. Additionally, strategies will be developed to help ensure that Hip-Hop's emerging political movement is inclusive of an empowering agenda for women. "For too long the Hip-Hop community has failed to set forth a national agenda for women," moderator and Hip-Hop activist Bakari Kitwana said. "The goal of these gatherings is to jump start a national discussion that asks young people, the Hip-Hop industry and our policy makers to assume responsibility for their complicity in making Hip-Hop synonymous with misogyny and homophobia." Rap Sessions was launched in 2005. Its first national tour which brought townhall-style meetings focused on race and Hip-Hop to 15 cities across the country. The forums were designed to jump-start crucial local debate and connect local Hip-Hop communities to national Hip-Hop arts/activists networks.