The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Chuck D and Gaye Theresa Johnson

A conversation on music, social justice, 
and the importance of critical situated 
knowledge in the 21st Century  

Weinstein Auditorium
Wright Hall, Smith College

As the founder of legendary rap group Public Enemy, Chuck D is one of the most significant figures in the history of Hip Hop and its most respected public intellectual. As an artist and activist, he redefined Hip Hop as music with a revolutionary political message.
Gaye Theresa Johnson is Associate Professor of Black Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and affiliated with the Departments of History and Chicana/o Studies. She writes and teaches on race and racism, cultural history, geographies of freedom, and political economy.
Watch an interview with the couple on the history of Black music and activism:
Conversation facilitated by Carlos Rec McBride (TRGGR Radio/Smith/UMass)
Free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. 
For disability access information or accommodation requests please call(413) 585-2407

 **  **  ** 


Gaye Theresa Johnson discusses her book Spaces of Conflict, Sounds of Solidarity,
on the shared struggles among African American and Chicano 
freedom seekers and cultural workers in Los Angeles

Graham Auditorium
Brown Fine Arts Center, Smith College
Free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. 
For disability access information or accommodation requests please call(413) 585-2407

Chuck D is the leader and co-founder of legendary rap group Public Enemy.  He redefined rap music and hip hop culture with the release of PE's explosive debut album, Yo Bum Rush The Show, in 1987. Since then, Public Enemy has completed 86 tours in 85 countries, and they're still going strong. Chuck D and Public Enemy were celebrated in the May 2004 issue of Rolling Stone magazine as one of the "fifty most important performers in rock & roll history."  In 2010, their song, "Fight the Power" was recognized by VH-1 as the greatest hip hop song in history.  Public Enemy has sold, to date, over 10 million albums, and for the first time in their career, were number 1 in iTunes downloads in the UK for their song "Harder Than You Think," a song penned by Chuck D and longtime collaborator Gary G-Wiz, and used as the 2012 Special Olympics signature song.  In 2013, Chuck D recognized by what is universally known as one of the highest honors in music: along with the Public Enemy, he was inducted into the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Chuck D has been a national spokesperson for Rock the Vote, the National Urban League, and the National Alliance for African American Athletes. He is on the advisory board for the Sankofa Foundation, convened by Harry Belafonte to radicalize artists and orient them to social movement activism.  Chuck has appeared in numerous public service announcements for national peace and the Partnership for a Drug Free America. He is featured in countless documentaries as an expert on several genres of music, sports, and history, including the critically-acclaimed documentary, Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome, a retrospective of the group and its indelible impact on American music. Chuck D is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, the author of two books, and he continues to work on commentary, music, and writing on diversity, rap, and reality.  

Gaye Theresa Johnson is Associate Professor of Black Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and affiliated with the Departments of History and Chicana/o Studies. She writes and teaches on race and racism, cultural history, geographies of freedom, and political economy. Her first book, Spaces of Conflict, Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spatial Entitlement in Los Angeles (University of California Press, 2013), is a history of civil rights and spatial struggles among Black and Brown freedom seekers and cultural workers in LA. Johnson’s second book, Women in Hip Hop: A Radical Herstory, is under contract with Haymarket Press. She has been a visiting researcher at Stanford University’s Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, as well as at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is also active with the Los Angeles Community Action Network’s struggle for housing and civil rights on LA’s skid row and is the 2013 recipient of the Freedom Now! Award for her efforts.  She is a member of the board of directors for the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE). Johnson has appeared in and consulted on several documentaries, including independent films about music and urban politics, as well as television programs for the BBC and the Biography Channel. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post and a prolific public speaker.  Johnson is also the Founding Partner of Sol Sisters Rising, a women’s collective dedicated to elevating women of color in film:

Sponsors – Smith College: History, Office of Student Engagement, Wurtele Center for Work & Life, Student Events Committee, Latina/o and Latin American Studies, Afro-American Studies, American Studies, Music, Theater, Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, Program for the Study of Women and Gender, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Res Life Social Justice Committee, Endowed Lecture Fund; Hampshire College: Africana Studies, Decolonize Media Collective, Latina/o and Latin American Studies; Amherst College: Black Studies, American Studies, Music; Mount Holyoke College: Africana Studies; UMass: WEB DuBois Department of African American Studies, Communication, English, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Theater, Women of Color Leadership Network; Five College Asian Pacific American Studies Program; TRGGR Media Collective; Five Colleges, Inc.

For more information on this series contact Jennifer Guglielmo, Associate Professor of History at Smith College, 

Connect & Follow

Artist News

    Council News

      Search This Blog

      Blog Archive