City University of New York
Positive Learning at Lehman College
By: Lisa Goings
Beats, poetry, people, learning… these are just some of the words that come to mind when I think about the great time I had at the Hip-Hop event at Lehman College. I learned more about Hip-Hop as a whole and how it’s more than just today’s hottest rapper. I was able to learn about a group of students who went to egypt and how they benefitted from that trip. My time spent at this event was the opposite of boring and I would experience it again if I could.
As my friends and I walked into the auditorium of the music building, we heard the sound of beatboxxing and started dancing – we knew the rest of our time there would be fun. We sat down and listened to a speaker who had literally grown up with Hip-Hop; he would sneak out of his house as a child to go listen to it. I enjoyed how he was authentic and spoke from his experiences like how he would walk past a street with graffiti on it and read the names, then years later in school he learned that those names were actually important people who had an impact on Hip-Hop. It showed me that most people who don’t know about Hip-Hop as a whole would look at all graffiti and associate it with gang bangers with no education, not realizing some were just an expression of the struggle of Hip-Hop.
As much as I enjoyed the parts of the program I was able to attend, I have to admit one of my favorite moments was the panel discussion on Hip-Hop. The panel was conducted like a Cipher, everyone saying their piece, taking their answers to the next level. I learned that Hip-Hop has a past, present and future though it has changed, and is all over the world. I was impressed that all the speakers from different places taught something related to Hip-Hop. In addition there was a program involved that had people from all over the world come to listen and watch the panel. They related what Hip-Hop was about and how people wanted to stop it from evolving to things everyone relate to or things we were familiar with such as the “east coast” “west coast” issue or Tupac and Biggie. Hip-Hop is an art and though it faced some opposition, it continues to evolve.
The final part of the program I attended was the presentation on Egypt. The fabulous Professor Glover, who currently teaches African Civilizations at Lehman College, took students with her in order to dispell the myths about Africa. The students fun-raised all the money and took off to Egypt. I appreciated how they took pictures to show how Africa was modernized and had technology; cities with buildings; and electricity; and not just some poor continent where everyone is ill in the village and live in huts.
To sum up, the event was amazing. I learned a little history of Hip-Hop, instead of someone just talking and reciting from a book or paper it was much more lively and informative. Lehman College took it beyond that, helping us learn in an interactive environment with people young and old from all over the world, eliciting the cultural diffusion of Hip-Hop.
- Lehman College Alumni Association (elementsofculture2014.wordpress.com)
- ClassAction Student Group (elementsofculture2014.wordpress.com)
- A Message from ClassAction Student Group… (elementsofculture2014.wordpress.com)
- 1st Annual Hip-Hop History Month Celebration: Elements of Culture Hip-Hop Educational Summit (spiritoftru.com)