The Blank Page: Literature, Hip-Hop and Freedom
In conversation with Jeff Chang, author and director, Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Stanford University
In MK Asante’s new memoir Buck, the award-winning writer, filmmaker, poet and professor scripts his rise from Philadelphia dealer and delinquent to the passionate and driven artist he is today. To share his powerful story of redemption, Asante sits down to rap with Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, on how he was transformed by the most unconventional teachers and the freedom to create on the blank page.
MK Asante is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, hip-hop artist, and professor of creative writing and film at Morgan State University. He received the Langston Hughes Award in 2009 and won the Jean Corrie Prize from the Academy of American Poets for his poetry collection Like Water Running Off My Back. Asante directed The Black Candle, a film he co-wrote with Maya Angelou, and directed and produced the award-winning film 500 Years Later.
Jeff Chang is the executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. Named by the Utne Reader as “one of the 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World,” Jeff Chang has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature. He is the author of the award-winning Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. He was a co-founder of ColorLines, the SoleSides hip-hop crew, and CultureStr/ke. His latest book is Who We Be: The Colorization of America, to be published September 2014.
Photo credit: Lee Steffen