Clarion Symposium Focuses on Hip-Hop’s Global Impact !! 

Hip-hop artist Common, a 2008 Grammy Award winner and five time NAACP Image Award winner, and Bakari Kitwana, co-founder of the first ever National Hip-Hop Political Convention, are the keynote speakers for Third Annual Clarion University Hip-Hop Symposium on Thursday, Oct. 23. The program features speakers from around the world and an International Film Festival based around the theme “Hip-Hop Symposium 2008: Global Impact!”

Common and Kitwana will highlight the day’s events with their presentation at 2 p.m. in Gemmell Student Complex. A panel program will close the activities at 7 p.m. also in the Gemmell Student Complex. Kitwana, in addition to being the co-founder of the first ever National Hip-Hop Political Convention is the author of “The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture.” He is currently an artist-in-residence at the University of Chicago.

Last summer he was called as an expert witness by the ACLU in the case of a junior high school student in Pennsylvania who was expelled for his rap lyrics. His expert testimony was referenced in the judge’s ruling, which allowed the student to return to school.

The former editor of national top-selling music magazine ‘The Source,” Kitwana’s writings have appeared in the Village Voice, The New York Times, The Nation, Savoy and the Progressive. He has taught in the English departments at Texas Southern University and University of Houston Downtown. He’s also been an adjunct professor in the political science department at Kent State University, where he taught a course “The Politics of the Hip-Hop Generation.”

Kitwana has been the editorial director of Third World Press, a consultant for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and for the last decade since the publication of his first book, “The Rap on Gangsta Rap,” has lectured on hip-hop and youth culture at colleges and universities across the country, including Harvard University, Columbia University, New York University, and Stanford University.

His book, “Hip-Hop Generation,” has been adopted as a course book in over 100 college classrooms in a variety of disciplines from sociology, history and Black studies to anthropology, music, and political science. He holds masters degrees in English and education from the University of Rochester. “Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabes and the New Reality of Race in America,” is his most recent book.

Hip-Hop artist Common is recognized for his emphasis on family values and departure from the “gansta rap” material and negative posturing sometimes found in popular hip hop or rap lyrics and videos. Born Lonnie Rashid Lynn in 1973, he was raised in Chicago, Ill., becoming the first widely hailed MC to emerge from that area. Under the name Common Sense he signed with Relativity Records in 1991.

He released “Can I Borrow A Dollar” in 1992 and “Resurrection” in 1994, the same year he was forced to abbreviate his name to Common due to a lawsuit by an Orange County-based reggae group called Common Sense.

“Resurrection” commented on the stagnant state of hip-hop and rap with the single, “i used to love h.e.r.” It created discussion within the hip-hop/rap realm, drew attention to his talent, and prompted a lawsuit by rapper Ice Cube, who felt he was maligned in the song. The lawsuit did not end favorably for Common, and litigation slowed the production of “Resurrection.”

Three years later he released “One Day It’ll All Make Sense,” which included a roster of rap and hip-hop’s most talented artists. One of the singles, “Retrospect For Life,” recorded by Common and Lauryn Hill of the Fugees, dealt with the topic of abortion.

Common was in the forefront of an unprecedented wave of family values in the hip-hop community in 1998, the same year he was the headline act for the Elements of Hip-Hop tour. His contributions featured his own father, Lonnie, on a single titled “Pop’s Rap,” an apology from his father for not always being there; and a video of his single “Rap City ” on the BET network told the story of a young black man who decided to do the right thing by his pregnant girlfriend.

Other noted rappers such as Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, and Coolio turned to the joys of fatherhood and marriage in their material, and Common was among those ushering in a new lyrical and spiritual trend toward family values and adulthood.

Kitwana and Common are also part of the 2008-09 Clarion University Martin Luther King Jr. Speaker Series.

The hip-hop activities will begin on Oct. 16 with a Hip-Hop Arts Exhibit in Marwick-Boyd Fine Arts Building.

The day-long events begin at 8:30 a.m. with a radio broadcast in the Gemmell Rotunda. book/CD signings and sales will also be held in the rotunda beginning at 11 a.m.

Two tracks will be run, a general schedule and one for educators. Teachers registering for the educator’s workshop will receive three Act 48 hours. High school students will also be taken on a campus tours and will participate in discussion groups led by Clarion University students.

Added by: Watcher, 24/Jun/24 | Comments: 1
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