Do African-American women have power over their bodies or are they playing into common stereotypes? This idea and more will be discussed at the Black and Brown Feminism in Hip-Hop Media Symposium and Concert on Friday, March 4 at 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.
The Black and Brown Feminism in Hip Hop Media Symposium will discuss the aspects of feminism, women’s bodies and homosexuality within hip-hop.
“We will also talk about the constructions of black women in hip-hop and how it deals with academia. We will see how these ideas affect us,” said Dr. Kinitra Brooks, one of co-chairs of the event.
During the symposium, guests will become familiar with the portrayal of African-American women in the music industry, particularly in hip-hop.
“It’s very different from the idea of western women and the super model idea, being very long, and very tall,” Brooks said. “In hip-hop there’s only a certain type of body. You have to have a cute face, small waist, big chest, and a big bottom.”
Guest speakers on Friday will include Dr. Gwendolyn Pough and Dr. Mae G. Henderson.
Pough specializes in black feminist theories, black popular culture, black women writers and black public culture and hip-hop culture. Dr. Henderson specializes in literary criticism and is a professor of African American literature at the University of North Carolina.
Guest speakers for round table discussions on Saturday will include Rosa Clemente and Crunk Feminists Collective. Clemente has delivered lectures on African-American and Latino/a Intercultural Relations and hip-hop Activism.
She is currently working on a novel titled “Siempre Palante: Young Lords and the Legacy of Youth Resistance.”
The Crunk Feminist Collective is a support team for the Hip Hop generation including feminists, both queer and straight. CFC is a community where ideas are discussed, individuals fellowship with one another and goals are articulated personally and professionally.
On Friday, March 4, guests will hear from Chairperson Laguana Gray, Brooks and Pough. Pough will speak about two current songs in hip-hop, “Best I Ever Had” and “All I Do is Win,” and she will focus on Hip Hop and Feminism in a Young Money Era. Later on in the day, there will be a Feminist Hip Hop Theories Panel until 11:30 a.m. At 11:45 a.m. there will be a panel about Nicki Minaj, the current most popular female rapper.
Also on Friday there will be a discussion regarding homosexuality in hip-hop.
The last panel will feature Henderson, who will be discussing women’s bodies in hip-hop.
“Dr. Henderson will discuss that there is agency in the construction of how women are displayed,” Brooks said. “Shalonda Coleman says we are reenacting what went on in slave markets and now our African American own men are doing it.”
According to Brooks, Clemente will focus on “how women are constructed in music videos, how black women are constructed, how brown women are constructed, and how they are constructed against each other.”
At 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. there will be a roundtable discussion from CFC on Blogging Resistance. The concert will begin at 9:00 p.m. and end at 12:00 a.m. The artists that will be in concert are Psalm One, Kudas Cubbensi and Kiawitl.
Psalm One is influenced by the battle rap scene. He is also known as a cross between Lauryn Hill and Devin the Dude. Cubbensi is a tribe of women who believe that women’s actions are a central part of change.
Co-chairs Kinitria Brooks and Marco Cervantes will be holding a meeting for volunteers this Tuesday, March 1 at 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. in the Craven Conference room located in the English department of the Main Building. Participants can sign up to volunteer on either day.
The Black and Brown Feminism in Hip Hop Media Symposium will take place in the UC 1.106 on Friday and in the UC 2.212 on Saturday. The latter part of Saturday evening will transition into the UC Ballroom for the concert. This event will be free and breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served both days for those who register early.