Collectors, Selectors, KEEPERS, and MCs: Black Feminist Sonic World-Making

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Thursday, March 24th, 2022

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Thursday, March 24, 20223:00PM - 5:00PMOnline Event, Online Event
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Description

We gather together to amplify our understanding of hip hop as a form of Black Feminist Sonic World-Making. akua naru, Azmera Hammouri-Davis, and Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo (aka SAMMUS), members of the global Black womxn-led KEEPERS collective (8 countries and counting!), will speak on their creation of the FIRST comprehensive digital archive to focus on the artistic work of womxn and girls throughout 5 decades of Hip Hop music and culture. Jennifer Lynn Stoever joins the conversation by sharing archival and oral history research from the “Living Room Revolutions ”project on the vital but often unacknowledged role of Black and Latinx women in bringing hip hop into being in 1970s, particularly the way their record collections and home music selecting practices sounded new ways of being in the world for themselves and their families. Producer and beatmaker SAMMUS, will talk about her sound work and perform a short set that vibrates us all higher and farther on into space, helping us to imagine new futures.

—Speaker Bios—

Azmera Hammouri-Davis
Azmera Hammouri-Davis, MTS (aka the Poetic Theorist) is a womanist poet, producer, and visual-performance artist-educator from Keaáu, Hawaii. She is currently the Community Partnership Lead at Harvard Radcliffe Institute, creating community-based learning engagements focused on youth-leadership and the Law, Education and Justice. Prior to Radcliffe, she became the first person offered the Africana Spirituality Chaplain role at Tufts University Multi-faith Chaplaincy. In 2017-2018 she completed a ten month artist-in-residence in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil as a U.S Fulbright Creative and Performing Arts researcher for her project entitled “Capoetics: Exploring the power of movement and word through Capoeira and Poetry”. She is in her fifteenth year as a practitioner of the Afro-Brazilian Martial Art of Capoeira and remains curious about the ways Black women Capoeiristas push us to re-imagine civic engagement and national identity through music. Her research interests include womanist + liberation theology, Hip Hop and performance studies, audio-visual engineering.

Since 2015 Azmera has served as the founder and director of Break The Boxes, a women-of-color led popular-education organization. In the summer of 2020 she became a founding member of theKEEPERS Hip Hop Collective. Azmera is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School where she received her Masters of Theological Studies in African and African American Religions. She holds a double Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts and Social Sciences Psychology from the University of Southern California (USC).

Dr. Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo aka SAMMUS
SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) is a Black feminist rap artist and producer from Ithaca, NY with a PhD in science and technology studies from Cornell University. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the music and multimedia composition (MMC) program at Brown University, teaching classes on rap songwriting and feminist sound studies and she will start as an assistant professor in fall of 2022. Beyond her creative work, Enongo’s research interests include Black feminist sound studies, video game music and sound design, and hip hop studies and performance. She is currently thinking and writing about the intersection of hip hop and AI, and the market dynamics that shape life for rap artists of color who work within video game music scenes.

In 2019 she became Director of Audio at Glow Up Games, a women-of-color led game studio. In the summer of 2020 she became a member of theKEEPERS, a Hip Hop collective that is currently developing the most comprehensive digital archive to map the international contributions of womxn and girls across Hip Hop’s 50-year history.

akua naru
akua naru is a Hip Hop artist, producer, activist, and scholar from New Haven, CT, who theorizes the myriad experiences of Black women through rhyme along a sonic spectrum from jazz to soul. She has released four albums: “...the journey aflame (2011)”, “Live & Aflame Sessions (2012)”, “The Miner’s Canary (2015)”, and “The Blackest Joy (2018)”–three of which were on the label she co-founded, The Urban Era. Akua has performed hundreds of shows in more than fifty countries across five continents with her six-piece band. She has been invited to lecture at Harvard University, University of Oxford, Cornell University, Princeton University, Fordham University, University of Cologne (Germany), Ahfad University for Women (Sudan), and Pivot Point College (China), among countless others. She was a 2018-19 Nasir Jones Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, She is currently a Mellon Arts & Practitioner Fellow at

In 2019, akua naru became a Race & Media Fellow at the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA) at Brown University. Prior to arriving at Brown, she served as a Nasir Jones Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University (2018-19). She is currently a Mellon Arts & Practitioner Fellow at the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration at Yale University, in addition to her role as the Founder & Artistic Director of The Keeper, where she brings her deep embodied knowledge and passion to the study of women’s hip hop artistry. Her research interests include hip hop studies, theater, performance, and Black feminism.

Jennifer Lynn Stoever
Jennifer Lynn Stoever is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sounding Out!, Associate Professor at SUNY Binghamton, and author of The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening (NYU Press: 2016). She is currently working on an oral-history based book project entitled Living Room Revolutions, part of which has been published as “Crate Digging Begins at Home: Black and Latinx Women Collecting and Selecting Records in the 1960s and 1970s Bronx” in the Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Studies (2018).

Contact

Mio Otsuka


Speakers

Azmera Hammouri-Davis
Womanist poet, producer, and visual-performance artist-educator

Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo aka SAMMUS
Rapper, Producer, Professor (Brown University)

akua naru
Hip Hop artist, producer, activist, and scholar

Jennifer Lynn Stoever
Associate Professor (SUNY Binghamton)



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