We look back at the life and legacy of rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur on the 15th anniversary of his tragic death. We start by speaking with entertainment journalist P. Frank Williams the media coverage of Tupac’s life and death.
For a more personal take on Tupac the young artist, we turn to someone who knew him in the early days of his career.
Danyel Smith, editor-in-chief of Billboard magazine, knew Shakur before he achieved the status of hip-hop icon, and we explore with her some of the inner workings of the man, as well as his early songs including “Brenda’s Got a Baby” and “Dear Mama.”
Finally, we get help decoding some of the messages behind Tupac Shakur’s music with “hip-hop” professor James Peterson, professor of English at Lehigh University. We deconstruct the music from an intellectual and artistic perspective, and look at the some of contradictions that characterized Shakur as both a socially conscious artist and a gangster rapper.
After two decades of work, Dr. Manning Marable completed a new biography, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.” Dr. Marable used material for his book that recently made available, thus providing a new insight into the famed civil rights leader. His biography, however, has also refueled the debate on many controversial aspects of Malcolm X’s life and interpretation of his politics and legacy. To discuss the Dr. Marable’s biography, we host a roundtable discussion with three guests. Amiri Baraka is an acclaimed poet, playwright, music historian and activist based in Newark, New Jersey. Herb Boyd is Harlem-based activist, teacher and author who edits the online publication, The Black World Today and writes for several publications, including Amsterdam News. Michael Eric Dyson is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University and is the author of numerous books including, “Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X.”
Does Barack Obama present a hope for dealing with African American issues? Or has he watered down his platform to appeal to white voters? Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson and veteran journalist Glen Ford debate.