Monday, August 15, 2005

Harlem Book Fair 2005


The Harlem Book Fair was a great experience. I have to confess...I grew up in Harlem but never went to the fair before. Hashim put out the info and I decided I had to see it for myself.

It was worth the heat. I really didn't go to buy books. I have too many as it is (If you would like to fill out a Diva Library Pass..let me know) I'm not a great fan of Street Literature. I have read some of it (True to the Game, Satin Doll etc.) but at some point it becomes like HipHop..Pornographic just for the shock value. I find that most of these books are very poorly edited and the subject matter (pimps, drugdealers, hoes etc.,) has quickly lost its appeal to me. I don't think that what is popular in today's black literature correctly reveals what life in the black community is like. And if it is..I don't want to be constantly bombarded with these constant bad images. It's enough I listen to it everyday...I don't want to keep reading about it. But my hat goes off to all of those who at least try to write. I'm currently in the process myself and it can harrowing. But sorry, no hoes, pimps, or drug dealers/traffickers in my books....

But I digress... I really went to listen in on the discussions held in the Harlem Hospital and Schomberg Auditoriums...

The first one was The Devolution of Hip Hop
Now that HipHop has reached it's 30th year... is it now more juvenile that it has ever been?

Nelson George, Bakari Kitwana, Danyel Smith participated along with others.

It was refreshing to hear an educated discussion on the state of HipHop today.

Nelson stated that we need to inject political consciousness into music and artists like Jay-Z, who already have a megahold on the industry. We need an artist like KRS-1 or Public Enemy in the mainstream. Danyel (whom I admire very much) said that she along with others in her age group (like me) were excited when we listened to Pro-Black HipHop in the late 80's and early 90's..but when no revolution was formed and gangsta rap was born...we lost interest. I thought that statement was so on point and basically summed up my resentment toward gangsta rap. But something poignant that she said was that we need to get the youth motivated enough to fight for the issues that affect them.

The discussion included a lot more great statements but I lost interest during some portions..there was an exchange that went on for 7 mins just between the men on the panel and at one point Danyel looked quite annoyed. Bitkari also talked too much. I respect him and I love his book on White Folks loving HipHop...but the brother talked in circles and never made it quite to the point. Except about white folks loving HipHop.

All in all I had a good time and here are the rest of the pics. Along with me and my friends from summer school. That's me and Shayne actor from St. Lucia..

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