The debate over whether hip hop music negatively influences youth today continues. In an upcoming discussion forum at Dillard University (DU), men and women will share their insights into how this musical genre portrays women. Dillard University will host “Does Hip-Hop Hate Women? A Conversation About Sex, Love and Gender Politics in Today’s Pop Culture” on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Georges Auditorium of the Professional Schools Building. Taking place in a town-hall-style meeting, the gathering will be conducted by leading hip-hop intellectuals. However, everyone is invited to attend and to participate in the free event.
Panelists will include: Bakari Kitwana, author of “The Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture”; Joan Morgan, author of “When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: My Life as a Hip Hop Feminist”; Mark Anthony Neal, professor of African and African American studies at Duke University; Treva Lindsey, assistant professor of women’s and gender studies at the University of Missouri; Marc Lamont Hill, host of the show “Our World with Black Enterprise”; and Akiba Solomon, a journalist with the news website Color Lines. Kevin Griffin of the New Orleans collective 2-Cent Entertainment will preside.
“It’s important that we consistently engage in dialogue about the ways women and men are portrayed in our society,” said event organizer Michael Wilson, an instructor of African world studies at Dillard University. “And by using hip-hop as the vehicle to drive this discussion, students will be able to directly and critically think about visual literacy, identity, black masculinity, homophobia, perceptions of women, and how they overlap in media and public policy debates.”
The event is part of a series called “Rap Sessions: Community Dialogues on Hip-Hop” that has been held at Brown University, Harvard Law School, the University of Chicago and other schools. The panel aims to examine the tensions and animosities between young men and women that some hip-hop music exacerbates, and to present youth with viable strategies they can implement in their personal lives and organizations.
The Department of African World Studies and the Office of the President at Dillard University are sponsoring the event, along with Rap Sessions and 2-Cent Entertainment. A reception with refreshments will follow the discussion.