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Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama/Tea Party Era

The Mississippi Learning Institute has partnered with FAITH, Inc. and Metro Youth Initiative to host Rap Session's Hip Hop Activism. Led by a distinguished panel of scholars, journalists and activists, this provocative, town-hall style gathering challenges students to examine the ways the Obama Era has impacted discussions of race and gender in America.

It will be held at the Jackson State University, New Student Center on Feb. 17, at 2 p.m.

From the Mississippi Learning Institute:

The event will be moderated by Bakari Kitwana, a journalist, activist and political analyst who has appeared on numerous Television News Programs. He is CEO of Rap Sessions and Senior Media Fellow at the Harvard Law based Think Tank, The Jamestown Project. His most recent book is titled Hip Hop Activism in the Obama Era.

The featured panelist is Talib Kweli who emerged on the national hip-hop scene as part of the rap group Black Star, along with Mos Def and DJ Hi-Tec. Talib became known as one of the most politically informed and lyrically talented MCs in the business. He has released four solo albums since then, including Quality in 2002, The Beautiful Struggle in 2004  and the bested selling in 2007 Eardrum. His most recent CD is 2011's Guitar Rainbows.

Other panelist will include:

  • Mark Anthony Neal, a  Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University. Neal has written and lectured extensively on black popular culture, and the history of popular music many other areas.
  • Joan Morgan, award-winning journalist, author and a provocative cultural critic. The pioneering hip-hop journalist, began her writing career freelancing for The Village Voice. Her article, “The Pro-Rape Culture,” explored issues of race and gender in the case of the Central Park jogger.
  • John Jennings an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research and teaching focus on the analysis, explication, and disruption of African American stereotypes in popular visual media.
  • Elizabeth Mendez-Berry whose reporting and criticism about music, culture and politics has appeared in the Washington Post,  Vibe, the Village Voice, Smithsonian, and Time, among others. She wrote "Love Hurts," her investigative article on domestic violence in the hip hop  industry.

Come and join us and be a part of Hip Hop Activism: in the Obama/Tea Party Era. Get informed!