Born in the Bronx: Afrika Bambaataa, Hip Hop & Radical Peace

Contact: Gwen Glazer
Phone:  (607) 254-8390

Born in the Bronx: Afrika Bambaataa, Hip Hop and Radical Peace
Hip Hop Legend Returns to Cornell

ITHACA, N.Y. (April 6, 2011) – Hip hop legend Afrika Bambaataa and company will return to Ithaca for a second time, to participate in an academic and musical symposium: “Born in the Bronx: Afrika Bambaataa, Hip Hop & Radical Peace.”

Bambaataa will speak at a panel discussion and Q&A at Barnes Hall Auditorium on Thursday, April 14 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. He will be joined by several other prominent hip hop figures: seminal 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.

On the evening of April 14, the performers will do a DJ set at Theta Delta Chi Fraternity House to an already-sold-out crowd. They will also visit the Southside Community Center for a private father-son event on April 15.

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 hip hop culture, documenting its early days with recordings, photographs, posters and more.

Since its arrival four years ago, the collection has been integrated into multiple Cornell courses and has welcomed a steady stream of researchers and visitors. With help from the Library, Music Professor Steve Pond built a “Discovering Hip Hop” course around connecting students with the original artifacts in the collection. The class, taught for the third time this semester, has also brought many of hip hop’s founders to campus to talk directly with students.
“When the collection first came to the Library, this is the kind of relationship we were hoping for — an ongoing dialogue that would enable people to learn about the origins of hip hop from the very people who created it,” said Katherine Reagan, curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts at Cornell University Library.

The program is co-sponsored by the Library and 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.

Visit the Library’s hip hop website for more information.

About Cornell University Library
Cornell University is an Ivy League institution and New York's land-grant university. Among the top ten academic research libraries in the country, Cornell University Library reflects the university's distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. The Library offers cutting-edge programs and facilities, a full spectrum of services, extensive collections that represent the depth and breadth of the university, and a deep network of digital resources. Its impact reaches beyond campus boundaries with initiatives that extend the land grant mission to a global focus. To learn more, visit <>.

The Library's seminal hip hop collection makes a big impact on campus, with new events and academic courses