Hip Hop Panel Last Night at the Schomburg

Dr. Cornel West at the Schomburg last night.
Originally uploaded by kiskeyAcity.

While reading Dr. Marc Lamont Hill's blog I found out he was going to be on a panel entitled A Hip Hop Revolution? last night at the Schomburg along with... Cornel West.

So I went. They didn't let me use a flash but I took as many shots as I could although those of the two women on the panel (Akiba Solomon and Dr. Imani Perry) are too blurry to post.

The panel went well and Cornel (please mom let me not call him Dr. West this one time) was as inspiring as ever. Topics spanned strategies to limit the effects of advertising and consumerism targeted to children, applying marketing skills to public education campaigns and the ways in which the hip hop industry parallels the porn industry among others.

My favorite moment was Asha Jennings' intervention during the comment section when she asked: "Why are we afraid to hold rappers accountable?" Ms. Jennings started the I.M.A.G.E.S. (Igniting Media Accountability for Gender Exploitation Schemes) campaign when she was a student at Spelman in 2004. She talked about how a music of empowerment has turned into a vehicle for misogynistic anthems that many black women find degrading. Her campaign inspired Essence Magazine's Take Back the Music issue. Asha is also a soon-to-be fellow NYU School of Law alum. Go Asha!

Carlito Rodriguez, a consultant for BET, was also on the panel.

Update: Interesting discussion of the event at Dr. Marc Lamont Hill's blog.

Update 4/28/06: Interesting post on the event over at Post Graduate Musings.

Update 4/30/06: Article: Hip Hop Revolution or Revulsion?



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mbayisyen said...

I was the biggest hip hop head back in college, Talib, Mos Def, the Roots, all that " conscious" stuff.
But yeah, I don't believe in a Hip Hop revolution , especially one manned by BET, an organisation that only seems to send a very rigid version of what is it to be a black person in 2006.
HIp Hop will not teach you to raise a child, balance your chequebook or start composting.
We do dance,pray, pop our collars, whisper, and shake all the way to Harlem but we also do other stuff. It's the other stuff that seemed to be lacking in BET's portrayal of the African-American community.

Anonymous said...

I was there too. Dr. West was amazing. Dr. Hill was wonderful too!!!!

Alice B. said...

thanks MB and anonymous for your comments.