NEW YORK - A hip hop conference featuring stars from the genre, a screening by an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a jazz concert and a lecture on Afro-Uruguayan history and culture. These are just part of The City College of New YorkÂs rich 2011 Black History Month offerings.
Hip hop stars Kool G Mims and Vinnie Brown, the latter from the iconic group ÂNaughty by Nature,Â are among the participants in a conference titled ÂIs Hip Hop History?Â February 25 - 26 at CCNYÂs Center for Worker Education (CWE), 25 Broadway, Manhattan. The conference brings together hip hop pioneers, legends, fans, college students and scholars.
Mr. Mims, a Harlem product, will perform live at 6 p.m. on the opening day. His act will be followed at 8 p.m. by the keynote address by Mr. Brown, the entrepreneurial and marketing brains behind ÂNaughty by Nature.Â Mr. Brown lectures frequently on hip hop culture and community activism as well as on the convergence of technology and entertainment.
Other speakers at the conference include Bakari Kitwana, a journalist, author and senior media Fellow at the Harvard Law School-based think tank, the Jamestown Project (11:30 a.m. Saturday, February 26), and Warren Orange, an adjunct lecturer at CCNY/CWE. Mr. Orange will moderate the panel discussion ÂA Hip Hop DiasporaÂ (1 p.m. Saturday, February 26).
All the conference events will be held on the seventh floor. There will be a $20 daily attendance fee; $30 if purchased for both days. CWE students with valid ID get a special discount: $10 for one day and $20 for two days if purchased in advance.
On Thursday, February 10, on City CollegeÂs main campus in Upper Manhattan (160 Convent Ave.), Stanley Nelson, the Emmy and MacArthur (ÂGeniusÂ) award-winning documentary filmmaker, will offer a sneak preview of his latest PBS American Experience project ÂFreedom Riders.Â The 4 p.m. screening in the Steinman Hall auditorium will be followed by a discussion with Mr. Nelson, a 1976 CCNY graduate.
ÂFreedom RidersÂ has been nominated for the 2011 Writers Guild of America Award for Documentary Screenplay and will premiere on PBS May 16. It is the first feature-length film about the courageous band of civil-rights activists who rode through the Deep South in 1961 to bring attention to segregation there.
Also on CCNYÂs Black History Month calendar are the following:
February 14 (3:30 p.m., NAC Ballroom), motion picture presentation of ÂFor Colored GirlsÂ and discussion with Armond White, film critic for New York Press and chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle.
February 23 (7:30 p.m., NAC Ballroom), George Brandon's Blue Unity
Orchestra, a jazz concert celebrating Black History Month.
February 28 (6 p.m., NAC 5/101), Afro-Uruguayan History and Culture.
Lecture presented by Uruguayan historian Dr. Oscar Montaño.
Presented by CCNYÂs Black Studies Program, this yearÂs Black History Month observance also kicks off the programÂs 40th anniversary.
Â"We'Âre offering the City College community a far more extensive Black History Month celebration than in previous years,"Â said Dr. Gordon Thompson, director of the program and assistant professor of English.