Race & Hip-Hop

Throughout the last several years of its 30-year existence, Hip Hop has revealed itself as a national cultural arts movement. Because of the mainstreaming of Hip Hop in American culture, race is entering our collective consciousness in new and interesting ways. Americans young and old experience this on a daily basis through Hip Hop lyrics and video images; through mainstream advertisements and fashion; through award-winning films like Hustle and Flow (2005); through popular television programming such as The Boondocks, The Dave Chapelle Show and the ever classic The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Rap Sessions public dialogue on Race and Hip Hop focuses on the Hip Hop generation and their younger siblings, the millennium generation—the first Americans to live their entire lives in the post-segregation United States. Hip Hop intellectuals from various ethnic backgrounds discuss the issues at hand in this interactive town hall style meeting which looks equally at the way today's popular culture, the impact of the generation gap, and emerging trends in youth activism have all influenced youth perceptions of race.

  • Is hip-hop today's minstrel show?
  • Is the appropriation of hip-hop perpetuating racial stereotypes?
  • How are Americans who identify with hip-hop viewing race differently?
  • Can race escape its role as a means to divide and conquer in American politics and instead be used in this generation as a means of social change?