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Chicago Holds “Does Hip-Hop Hate Women” Conference

chi-univ.jpgOn Saturday (April 28), the University of Chicago held a panel discussion, “Does Hip-Hop Hate Women?,” which drew more than 400 people. According to the Tri-City Herald, the scholars, activists and local artists that attended the meeting had mixed reactions to the topic. Some condemned music executives for not taking a stand against violent and misogynistic lyrics. “Sexism is too convenient within the Black community for Black men,” said David Ikard, assistant professor at the University of Tennessee. “This issue of Imus came up and I asked the Black men in my hip-hop course what were their stakes in it. They were like, ‘Well, we don’t really have any stakes in it. It seems trivial.’” Joan Morgan, author and commentator on hip-hop and feminism blasted Russell Simmons for only trying to ban three words from hip-hop — “bitch,” “ho” and “nigga.” “How is no one saying to Russell, ‘Yo, we already bleep out those words?,’” Morgan asked. Others defended hip-hop, like local MC and executive director of the Chicago Hip-Hop Initiative, Amina Norman-Hawkins. “We allow this language to go on,” Hawkins said. “As a community, we aren’t responsible for our children. So we don’t teach our little boys how to grow up and be men and respect woman. We allow them to learn from the street what’s acceptable.”

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