A dialogue between Jeff Chang and Kenyon Farrow, moderated by Walidah Imarisha at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006.
Organized by: Ajay Nair and Tamara K. Nopper
Synopsis: On February 1, 2006, over 150 people came to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA for the panel “Rap, Race & Black-Asian Relations” featuring writers and activists Jeff Chang and Kenyon Farrow and moderated by Walidah Imarisha.
The event was a part of the Penn Asian American Studies Program series “South Asians in Hip Hop” and was co-sponsored by the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO), the Third World Coalition of AFSC, and AWOL Magazine: Revolutionary Artists Workshop. Although the room only had 75 seats, the audience of mostly Blacks and Asians—who ranged from high school age into their sixties- crowded into the room, standing and sitting wherever they could find space. Walidah Imarisha opened up the conversation by asking Farrow and Chang to share their thoughts on the state of Black-Asian relations and hip hop.
From there, the conversation turned to include issues of cultural appropriation, cultural sovereignty, how people find their sense of place in the world or attempt to subvert their position in the racial hierarchy by taking on Black affect and what this means in terms of sexual and gender politics, lived experiences/conflict between Blacks and Asians and how this informs issues found in hip hop, the Hot 97 Tsunami organizing, and the global dynamics of race and cultural production. Although half the room did not have a seat for the event, most people stayed afterwards to ask questions, and speak to the panelists.
To learn more about the panelists and moderator, go to:
Jeff Chang: cantstopwontstop.com/
Kenyon Farrow: kenyonfarrow.com/
Walidah Imarisha: walidah.com/
To read Kenyon Farrow's essay referenced in the discussion, "We Real Cool?:On Hip-Hop, Asian-Americans, Black Folks, and Appropriation," go to:
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