Fairfield University joins WNPR - Connecticut Public Radio in presenting: "African American Storytelling: Rap, Rhymes, and Poetry in Performance"


Image: Russell GoingsRap resembles some of poetry's oldest forms. From the ballads and performed tales of early African Americans to the stripped-down lyrics of the Sugar Hill Gang, the tradition of incorporating rhythm and beats into poetry has been with us for centuries.

Fairfield University will present a panel discussion on the relationship between hip-hop and the world of Western poetry on Friday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. in Canisius, Room 204, on the Fairfield campus. Entitled, "African American Storytelling: Rap, Rhymes, and Poetry in Performance," the panel will be moderated by WNPR's Where We Live host John Dankosky and will be recorded to air on WNPR. The panelists will weigh in on such questions as, 'Should Jay-Z and Tupac be considered alongside poetic greats as Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou?'

The panelists will include Russell Goings, poet and author of "The Children of Children Keep Coming," an "epic griot song" that blends the stories of historical giants like Frederick Douglass, Billie Holiday and Jackie Robinson with mythic characters from African American tradition in a style that captures both the spirit and eloquence of West African storytelling; and Adam Bradley, associate professor of English at the University of Colorado and author of "The Poetics of Hip-Hop" and "The Anthology of Rap," an overview of rap's poetics, major historical periods in rap's development, and discussions of influential artists.

The event is part of a Fairfield University and WNPR collaboration that concerns a yearlong symposium on African American narratives expressed in literature, the spoken word and the arts featuring the work of Goings. A native of Stamford, Connecticut, he is a former professional football player for the Buffalo Bills and a man of many firsts, including: the first African American branch manager of a New York Stock Exchange Firm; the owner of the first African American brokerage firm to have a seat on the New York Stock Exchange; the first chairman and founder of Studio Museum in Harlem; and the first chairman and founder of Essence magazine. Goings studied at Fairfield under award-winning poet Kim Bridgford, Ph.D., who wrote the introduction to "The Children of Children Keep Coming."

The panel discussion is sponsored by Fairfield University, West Chester University Poetry Center and WNPR - Connecticut Public Radio. The presentation is part of Fairfield University's Arts & Minds Season. To listen live or to download a podcast, visit http://www.cpbn.org/program/where-we-live.

Image: Russell Goings.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 16, 2010

Vol. 43, No. 118

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