ITHACA, N.Y. – What started in the Bronx makes a stop in Ithaca: Cornell University’s American Studies Program presents “Born in the Bronx: Afrika Bambaataa, Hip-Hop & Radical Peace,” a symposium about hip-hop on April 14 and 15.
The origins of hip-hop will be celebrated with a DJ set, panel discussions, a Q&A session and a visit to a local community center.
DJ Afrika Bambaataa — the Amen-Ra of Universal Hip-Hop Culture and the father of the Electro-Funk Sounds — is a pioneer of this musical and cultural movement. This is Bambaataa’s first return to campus since he helped Cornell University Library open its hip-hop collection in 2008. That 7,000-piece collection is the largest archive on the beginnings of the musical genre, documenting its early days with recordings, photographs, posters and more.
The symposium’s public calendar includes:
Thursday April 14, 1:30-3:30 p.m. – A panel discussion at Barnes Hall Auditorium, featuring Afrika Bambaataa, seminal hip-hop dance figure Popmaster Fabel, photojournalist Joe Conzo Jr., and hip-hop scholars Sean Eversley Bradwell (Ithaca College) and Travis Gosa (Cornell). Johan Kugelberg, whose private collection formed the bulk of Cornell’s hip-hop archive, will introduce the participants.
Thursday April 14,8:30 p.m. – Bambaataa performs a DJ set at Theta Delta Chi Fraternity House (the fraternity nicknamed Thumpty), 800 University Ave., Ithaca. Advance reservations are still being accepted. Space is very limited and no alcohol will be permitted.
Friday April 15, time TBA: Bambaataa visits Southside Community Center, Ithaca.
The symposium is supported by The Atkinson Forum of the American Studies Program at Cornell, funded by Cornell donors David and Pat Atkinson to enrich and enhance the curriculum in American Studies and the cultural life of the entire university. The forum brings thinkers, actors, musicians, writers, dancers and artists to Cornell.