Howard University Hosts First Hip-Hop Symposium

Howard University

Graduate School, in conjunction with the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and

several grad student organizations, will host the Inaugural Hip-Hop and Higher

Education Symposium on March 30.

The event aims

to fuse Hip-Hop into the curriculum of Howard undergraduate and graduate programs.

Panelists for

the symposium include Lil’ Mo, BET Style host Melyssa Ford and video

director X, who will discuss various topics that are important to the Hip-Hop generation.

The panel will

be followed by "I Declare War: Emcee Battle" and an after-party.

"Hip-Hop

is one of the main voices and cultural lifestyle bases for many of today’s black

children, adolescents, and young adults," says Howard Ph.D. student Joshua

Kondwani Wright, who serves as chair of the symposium. "Hip-Hop has increasing

political, economic, spiritual and cultural influences on youth. Unfortunately,

it is currently receiving more attention for its association with violence,

materialism and misogyny."

If the symposium

is successful, Hip-Hop could be integrated into Howard’s studies, which would

make the school one of the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities

to add Hip-Hop courses to their educational requirements.

Harvard University,

University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, and the University

of Pennsylvania all have classes devoted to Hip-Hop culture and education, according

to Wright.

"Hip-Hop

courses have a place in higher education and would warrant critical analysis

at Howard University just as it is being analyzed at other institutions,"

says Wright.

If added, courses

would range from broader discussions of Hip-Hop the culture to deeper issues

in the Hip-Hop community, as discussed in rap.

The Hip-Hop and

Higher Education Symposium will take place at Howard’s Blackburn Center and

Cramton Auditorium from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.gs.howard.edu/hiphop/default.htm.

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