hiphop

Lehman College’s 1st Annual Hip-Hop Summit By: Julian Velazquez

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Lehman College’s 1st Annual Hip-Hop Summit

By: Julian Velazquez

Lehman College’s 1st Annual Hip-Hop Summit has proven to be a very enlightening experience.  Myself, and my peers who attended the Summit, were not expecting much of an event.  To our surprise, we marveled at the event’s substance and integrity.  In the few hours we spent in the music building, we all witnessed a different side of Hip-Hop; one that was positive, educated and very in touch with its roots.

The group of established panelists who were present to sound off on their thoughts, and shared their scholarly views as integral members of Hip-Hop’s now international community was a real learning experience.  A lot of the younger generations, especially the high school students who were in attendance were the recipients of awareness.  Most, if not all of the discussion topics pertained to the contemporary issues of Hip-Hop, some that went above and beyond the music and dance, breaching into other areas where the culture is present including, the recently attained government offices and the educational system.

Out of the volumes of knowledge that came from a few spare minutes of commentary from the panel, what stuck out the most to me as a young minority in school, is the contributions of urban youth, that in time will yield the future of the nation as well as the future of Hip-Hop.  Which is where the urgency of awareness comes into play.  Awareness really opens the eyes of a young man or  woman who realizes that the safety and integrity of an entire culture can be affected simply by making the choices to educate yourself as well as finding opportunities to create and in doing so, becoming a positive and knowledgeable resource for generations to come.

In addition to the insightful commentaries and exciting performances from local and visiting artists, were the educational workshops. I was fortunate enough to attend Professor Glover’s presentation about educational experiences in African travel. Professor glover herself has been an educator for more than 25 years specializing in African Studies. In her many travels to the Motherland in the 1970s and 1980s, she has taken students to various African nations like Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana.  Her motivation being to reach her students and educate them about the African roots of Hip-Hop through learning about the backgrounds and cultures of the nations and to also dispel the myths about Africa.  Her engaging words and visuals brought her stories to life and showed us a different Africa than the one we were taught through lies and jungle myths about “Tarzan and Jane” as she said. Overall, this event is going to be something I look forward to next year.

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My Experience By: Chilee Ogba

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My Experience

By:

Chilee Ogba

On Friday, November 8, 2013, i along with some friends decided to attend the 1st Annual Hip-Hop History Celebration at Lehman College.  We found out about the event from our African civilizations professor (Professor Glover) and decided to attend since we had some time to spare.  My friends and I were able to catch a bit of the discussion panel as well as the entire workshop about Africa conducted by Professor Glover.  What we thought would be a rather boring or nonchalant day turned out to be surprisingly entertaining, fun and informative.  Attending the celebration turned out to be one of the highlights of my college career so far.

The Hip-Hop panel was surprisingly informative.  I didn’t think I would learn anything new about the genre that I am quite familiar with but I did.  I learned about how Hip-Hop has a strong connection to the realities faced by African Americans such as criminal profiling, etc.  I was also delighted to see how many people came all the way from countries like China, Japan, Brazil, and Australia to be a part of the event.  There were also high school students in attendance.  Whether they got out of it as much as I did that day – I don’t know, but I believe it was good to expose them to such a program.  futhermore, my friends and I attended the workshop about Africa and we loved every minute of it.  Besides being able to see another side of Lehman College that we’ve never seen before (more of the Music Building), we realized that there’s a lot of diversity in our school.  There were students there whose families are from all over the continent of Africa.  We watched a presentation aboupt a program that took students to Africa.  Then, we all shared our cultural backgrounds and realized that we are more similar than different.  In the end, I felt like I got a lot out of the event.  I met a few people and also realized that my school has many great programs that I should try to attend.

Positive Learning at Lehman College By: Lisa Goings

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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.