In Conversation with Ewuare X. Osayande

I feel incredibly lucky to be the host of FacingOut.
Some days, I feel extra lucky. Today was one of those days.

If you missed my conversation with Ewuare X. Osayande, you missed a real treat today.  While the title of his book (Misogyny and the Emcee – Race, Sex & Hip Hop) puts the spotlight on Hip Hop and its lyrics, his message is about awareness and change within the Black Community in order to resist the degradation and violence against Black women.

He began out talk today with a short presentation, where he told us of how he came to begin this work. His motivation, he told us, grew out of concern over the R. Kelly video years ago where a young girl is urinated upon. As he watched the media frenzy that came to R. Kelly’s defense, Ewuare found himself thinking: What about the girls, and the message this sends about their value and self worth?

His goal, since then, is to begin a dialogue about this very question and ultimately what it does to the Black Community. He wants to get men (and specifically Black men) thinking differently about the Hip Hop culture and the attitude towards women in our society.

He mentioned a few times, as he does in his book, that he is not hating on Hip Hop – although it may be seen as such. He is a lover of Black people, and within the social context of patriarchy and racism in a post-slavery society, he can’t sit by and do nothing when the lyrics of so many Hip Hop songs (and the culture it glorifies) are violent and degrading towards women.

It was a pleasure to hear about his work with organizations involved in teaching history to inform resistance, and critical listening skills to black male youth, to dialogue with him, and hear his responses to the questions in the audience (including Afrocentric schools, Chris Brown, and Obama).

It was a thoughtful, and though-provoking hour and 20 minutes.

Sorry you missed it?
You can watch the video!

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