What Matters Now? Hip Hop Activism with Dr. Regina N. Bradley and Dr. Jill Richardson

MAY 07, 2021 | 12:00 PM TO 1:00 PM



Online Event


May 07, 2021: 12:00 PM-1:00 PM







Hip Hop Activism with the author of Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South
Dr. Regina N. Bradley and Dr. Jill Richardson

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Author Regina N. Bradley presents her latest book which pulses with the beats of a new American South, probing the ways music, literature, and film have remixed southern identities for a post–civil rights generation. Dr. Bradley will be joined in conversation with Jill Richardson, faculty member at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Social and political movements of the past have given passage to crucial gains in the call for civil rights, justice, and equality. But might there be a need for inspired individualism and grassroots organizing, that reinforces a sustained level of activism? What Matters Now? asks us to consider the forms of transformative activism necessary in the present that engage daily life, the wellbeing of humanity, the environment, and a democratic society.

Dr. Regina N. Bradley is an alumna Nasir Jones HipHop Fellow (Hutchins Center, Harvard University, Spring 2016), Assistant Professor of English and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University, and co-host of the critically acclaimed southern hip hop podcast Bottom of the Map with music journalist Christina Lee. Dr. Bradley is one of the foremost authorities on contemporary Black culture in the American South. Her expertise and research interests include post-Civil Rights African American literature, hip hop culture, race and the contemporary U.S. South, and sound studies. Dr. Bradley earned a B.A. in English from Albany State University (GA), an M.A. in African American and African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University Bloomington, and a Ph.D. in African American Literature from Florida State University. Dr. Bradley is the author of Chronicling Stankonia: the Rise of the Hip-Hop South.  Chronicling Stankonia explores how Atlanta, GA hip hop duo OutKast influences the culture of the Black American South in the long shadow of the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Bradley is also the editor of a collection of essays about OutKast for the University of Georgia Press titled An OutKast Reader. A prominent public voice and leading scholar on southern hip hop culture, Dr. Bradley's work has been featured on a range of news media outlets including Washington Post, NPR, and Atlanta Journal Constitution. Additionally, In May, 2017 Dr. Bradley delivered a TEDx talk, "The Mountaintop Ain't Flat," about the significance of hip hop in bridging the American Black South to the present and future. As a complement to her scholarship, Dr. Bradley is also an acclaimed fiction writer. Her first short story collection, Boondock Kollage: Stories from the Hip Hop South, was published by Peter Lang press in 2017. Jesmyn Ward described the stories in Boondock Kollage as leaving her “breathless and incoherent.” Dr. Bradley’s short story “Beautiful Ones” was a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee in short fiction. Her other stories have been featured in Obsidian, Transition, and Oxford American. Dr. Bradley’s fiction has been supported by the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and the Tin House Summer Workshop. She is currently working on her first novel, Reluctant Ancestors, about the disappearance of a teenaged black boy in Southwest Georgia.

Jill Toliver Richardson is Associate Professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and at The Graduate Center where she teaches in the M.A. Program in Liberal Studies. Her book, The Afro-Latin@ Experience in Contemporary American Literature and Culture: Engaging Blackness, the result of a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship, was published in the Afro-Latin@ Diasporas Series at Palgrave Macmillan (2016). She guest edited a special issue on Afro-Latina/o Literature and Performance for Label Me Latina/o: Journal of Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries Latino Literary Production (Summer 2017). Additionally, Professor Richardson has published her work in the journals Label Me Latina/o and CENTRO. She is the recipient of a CUNY Chancellor’s Fellowship for her next book project, which examines literature, film, and music centered on the experiences of the hip hop generation including the trauma inflicted through heightened forms of violence, policing and surveillance instituted in black and Latinx communities during the Crack Era/War on Drugs of the 1980’s and 1990’s.