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Hip Hop, Spoken Word and the Library

(30 November 2017)

The Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre (AIU Centre) recently hosted a successful event as part of the Hip Hop Studies Collection project; a Social Responsibility in the Curriculum project led by Dr Eithne Quinn, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. The funding, among other things, is allowing the AIU Centre to acquire and develop new library resources, focusing on the themes of hip hop, grime, spoken word, education and social justice, to support the burgeoning field of hip hop studies.

The ‘Hip Hop, Spoken Word and the Library’ event showcased some of the new material and was an opportunity to bring Eithne’s Hip Hop Studies students together with academics in the field, hip hop and spoken word educators and practitioners.

The packed programme was kicked off by Eithne, who introduced Joy White, the author of ‘Urban Music and Entrepreneurship: Beats, Rhymes, and Young People’s Enterprise’. Joy’s thought-provoking lecture reflected on a decade of Grime music in England and the extent to which this formerly niche Hip Hop genre has transcended borders. 

Shirley May and Reece Williams of Young Identity writing collective talked about the work of the group to provide young people with a platform to express themselves through spoken word. Members of Young Identity then gave several passionate performances of their own poetry.

Finally, Jon Green from Unity Radio gave an insight into the Manchester Hip Hop Archive project; a community group working to build an archive of the hip hop scene in Manchester.

The evening ended with refreshments, a chance to browse the hip hop library collection and lots of conversation.