“Born in the Bronx: Afrika Bambaataa, Hip Hop & Radical Peace,” an academic and musical symposium

WHEN: April 14 and 15, 2011

WHO: Hip hop legends Afrika Bambaataa, Popmaster Fabel, and other invited guests

WHERE: Cornell University, various locations

ITHACA, N.Y. – What started in the Bronx makes a stop in Ithaca: Cornell University’s American Studies Program presents “Born in the Bronx: Afrika Bambaataa, Hip Hop & Radical Peace,” a symposium about hip hop on April 14 and 15.

The origins of hip hop will be celebrated with a DJ set, panel discussions, a Q&A session and a visit to a local community center.

DJ Afrikaa Bambaataa —the Amen-Ra of Universal Hip Hop Culture and the Father of the Electro-Funk Sounds — is a pioneer of this musical and cultural movement. This is Bambaataa’s first return to campus since he helped Cornell University Library open its hip-hop collection in 2008. That 7,000-piece collection is the largest archive on the beginnings of the musical genre, documenting its early days with recordings, photographs, posters and more.

The symposium’s public calendar includes:

  • Thursday April 14, 1:30-3:30 p.m.: A panel discussion at Barnes Hall Auditorium, featuring Afrika Bambaataa, seminal hip hop dance figure Popmaster Fabel, photojournalist Joe Conzo Jr., and hip-hop scholars Sean Eversley Bradwell (Ithaca College) and Travis Gosa (Cornell). Johan Kugelberg, whose private collection formed the origins of Cornell’s hip hop archive, will introduce the participants.
  • Thursday April 14, 8:30 p.m.: Bambaataa performs a DJ set at Theta Delta Chi Fraternity House (the fraternity nicknamed Thumpty), 800 University Ave., Ithaca. Advance reservations begin on Monday, March 7. Space is very limited and no alcohol will be permitted. To reserve a spot, e-mail us. Venue information. This event is SOLD OUT. Contact the email list above to inquire about the wait list.
  • Friday April 15, afternoon time TBA: Bambaataa visits Southside Community Center, Ithaca. Venue information.

This symposium is supported by The Atkinson Forum of the American Studies Program at Cornell University, funded by Cornell donors David and Pat Atkinson to enrich and enhance the curriculum in American Studies and the cultural life of the entire university. The forum brings thinkers, actors, musicians, writers, dancers and artists to Cornell.

NOTE: Journalists, you are welcome to cover the symposium events and the DJ set. For media questions, please contact Blaine Friedlander, Cornell Press Office at bpf2@cornell.edu or (607) 254-8093.