From King to Hip Hop, College Celebrates MLK

Posted by Brent Treash

Dr. Bettina Love, award-winning author and associate professor of educational theory and practice at the University of Georgia, delivered the keynote address for the College’s annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the McGlothlin Center for the Arts.

Love’s speech focused on connecting the work of King to Hip Hop, and ultimately civic responsibility, by touching on the way urban youth negotiate Hip Hop music and culture to form social, cultural and political identities to create new and sustainable ways of thinking about urban education and social justice.

“What we create in this country like Hip Hop that are then appropriated… that music, that sound, that drum is what we need to survive,” said Love. “It’s not just music. It’s the actual way we connect the ancient with the new.”

Love argued that when politicians and leaders take art out of education they are taking away how children survive, heal, learn and deal with situations going on in their lives.

Love’s nearly hour-long speech was the first of many discussions on the E&H campus based on this year’s theme of “Privilege. Break the Silence – Be the Change.”

Following the keynote address, students and community members were invited to various breakout sessions to continue the dialogue. Topics challenged participants to gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which privilege and injustice weave their way through the fabric of our society.

As a follow up to her morning keynote address, Love hosted an afternoon open conversation with the audience on understanding that simply recognizing privilege isn’t enough.

  • Dr. Bettina Love at the 2018 MLK Day Celebration.
    Dr. Bettina Love at the 2018 MLK Day Celebration.

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