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Virtual: ‘Rapping in Time: Hip Hop, Activism, and Social Change in the Black Atlantic’
October 9, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
In this virtual international panel, Dr. Camara will be in conversation with Senegalese and American hip-hop artists-activists and scholars to discuss artistic engagement in the time of COVID-19 and global anti-racism protests. Guest speakers will include “Kilifeu,” “Thiat,” Malal Talla (aka “Fou Malade”) of Senegal’s Y’En a marre (Fed Up!) movement and Pierce Freelon of North Carolina.
In 2011, Senegal’s leading activist rappers “Kilifeu” and “Thiat” founded the Y’en a marre (Fed Up!) activist movement with journalist Fadel Barro. In 2012, Y’En a marre led the nationwide M23 movement to protest former president Wade’s attempt at a third unconstitutional term. After the 2012 election of current president Macky Sall, the “raptivists” declined an invitation to integrate the new regime, preferring to remain at a distance and keep up their roles as “watchdogs” of Senegalese democracy. Y’En a marre has stood its ground ever since, making music while engaged in grassroots activist work to combat government corruption, injustice, illiteracy, and now COVID-19 and racial injustice.
Pierce Freelon joins the panel as a professor, musician and social entrepreneur. Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, he founded Blackspace, an Afrofuturist digital makerspace and co-founded Beat Making Lab, an Emmy Award-winning PBS web-series. Pierce is also co-director, writer and composer of “The History of White People in America,” a PBS animated series.
Dr. Samba Camara, teaching assistant professor of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill