Symposium Explores Issues of Women, Entrepreneurship in Hip-Hop
University of Rochester alumnus Bakari Kitwana, a prominent author and cultural critic, will host a symposium on hip-hop culture featuring influential scholars and leaders in the study of African-American popular culture.
"The Entrepreneurial Mindset: The Culture of Hip-Hop, Entrepreneurship and Women" will run from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31. The event is free and open to the public and will take place in Hoyt Auditorium on the University's River Campus.
Kitwana, a former executive editor of the leading hip-hop magazine The Source, has been described as "one of America's leading hip-hop intellectuals" by The Village Voice. Originally focused on mechanical engineering at the University, he switched his major to English after reading James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time and received a bachelor's degree in 1988 and master's degrees in 1990. He established a reputation as a cultural analyst early in his career. After a stint with Chicago publisher Third World Press, Kitwana joined The Source, adding political content to the musically-focused magazine. He is credited with coining the phase "the hip-hop generation" and is the author of several books on African-American popular culture, including his 1994 book The Rap on Gangsta Rap, which has been called the most detailed analysis of hip-hop ever written.
The symposium will begin with an interview of DJ Kool Herc, the Jamaican-born music pioneer of the 1970s widely known as the father of hip-hop. Herc also will give a DJ demonstration and answer audience questions. The summit will conclude with a panel discussion and town hall meeting with the members of Rap Sessions, a prominent group of activists, artists, and thinkers from the hip-hop community. Titled "Hip-Hop's Intent: The History and Future of Hip-Hop, Entrepreneurship and Women," this discussion is part of Rap Sessions' "Does Hip-Hop Hate Women?" 2007 national tour. Panel members include Mark Anthony Neal, an associate professor of African-American studies at Duke University; Tracy Sharpley-Whiting, director of the Program in African-American and Diaspora Studies and a professor at Vanderbilt University, and the author of the book Pimps Up, Ho's Down: Hip Hop's Hold on Young Black Women; Martha Diaz, president of the Hip-Hop Association; filmmaker Byron Hurt; and Glenn Toby, a prominent sports and entertainment industry talent agent.
For more information on "The Entrepreneurial Mindset: The Culture of Hip-Hop, Entrepreneurship and Women," contact (585) 275-7512.
About the University of Rochester
The University of Rochester (www.rochester.edu) is one of the nation's leading private universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering is complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and the Memorial Art Gallery.