Several East Tennessee State University programs have teamed up to present Hip-Hop History: A Cultural Celebration, a series of events designed to recognize hip-hop’s significant contributions to art and culture.
The Black American Studies Program, the Reece Museum, and the Mary V. Jordan Multicultural Center, with support from the Equity and Inclusion Office of the College of Arts and Sciences, are working on this initiative.
“This partnership and collaborative exercise underscores the importance of Black Americans and their contributions to America, particularly in the Appalachians,” said Dr. Daryl A. Carter, Professor, Associate Dean and Director of Black American Studies. .
Over the summer, the United States Senate passed a resolution that designated November as “Hip-Hop History Month,” elevating the status of hip-hop to other distinctively American genres such as than jazz, blues, gospel and rock’n’roll. “The artists and supporters of hip-hop, at the origin of African heritage, now transcend many ages, ethnicities, religions, places, political affiliations and socio-economic status,” the resolution reads, “which demonstrates the quality of fusion of hip-hop art and culture. “
Rebecca Proffitt, Acting Director of the Reece Museum, said the collaboration “represents an opportunity to reflect on how art forms create spaces of connection between communities.”
She added: “I think it is important to recognize that many art forms that we consider to be traditionally Appalachian are rooted in African and indigenous cultural expressions, representing a long history of sharing ideas and knowledge between cultural groups.
To kick off the celebration, the Mary V. Jordan Multicultural Center hosted singer and songwriter Jonathan Blanchard on Wednesday, November 3 at the DP Culp Student Center.
The Reece Museum, located at 363 Stout Drive, will host other events later this month:
- At 1:00 p.m. on November 16, Carter will present a talk titled “The Business of Hip-Hop.”
- At 3 p.m. on November 16, there will be a panel discussion with ETSU History Professor Dr Elwood Watson and Black in Appalachia Director Will Isom.
- At 1 p.m. on November 18, there will be an artist talk by Johnson City artist Jason Flack, who also has an exhibition at the Reece Museum through the end of November.
- At 3 p.m. on November 18, the artistic director of the Good Guy Collective and hip-hop artist Jarius Bush will give a presentation and musical performance. The event will end with a jam session between Bush and musicians from the Department of Appalachian Studies at ETSU.
“We are delighted with the many interesting events taking place at the Reece Museum in November,” Proffitt said. “We welcome both our ETSU family, as well as the public, to attend. “
Masks will be mandatory for all indoor events. To learn more about events in hip-hop history, call 423-439-4392 or visit www.etsu.edu/reece. For disabled accommodations, call the ETSU Disability Services Office at 423-439-8346.
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