History of Hip Hop: Breaking it Down with Courtney Pierre Joseph

History of Hip Hop: Breaking it Down with Courtney Pierre Joseph


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The thing about hip-hop today is it's smart, it's insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable. – Former President Barack Obama

This interactive conversation will provide participants with an overview of how Hip Hop style embodies the black experience across time and space. How did this regional form of Black expression become the most popular music genre worldwide? 

Together we will examine the evolution of Hip Hop music, beginning from the first Hip Hop party (held in NYC in 1973) to its present standing as a global phenomenon. Takings roots and inspiration from African American musical genres (like blues, jazz, soul, and funk), Hip Hop music, and culture were born out of the black struggle of the 1960s and 1970s and still resonate deeply with a global audience today.

Led by an expert on hip hop history and culture, Courtney Pierre Joseph, this conversation will look at how hip hop culture has developed over the last four decades. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, this seminar will provide a core understanding of the five "pillars of hip hop," which are its talents of rap, DJ, dance, art, and historical origins. 

Courtney Pierre Joseph is an Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies at Lake Forest College. Her specializations are in African American history and culture, Haiti and its diaspora, women and gender studies, and hip hop culture. Joseph earned her PhD in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017. She has spoken at numerous institutions, including the DuSable Museum of African American History, and at various events, including the fall 2020 Chicago Humanities Festival. Dr. Joseph is currently working on her first book, tentatively titled DuSable’s Diaspora: Haiti, Blackness, and Belonging in Chicago.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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