Hip Hop comes to HC: Toni Blackman presents Travels of a Lyrical Ambassador

Champion of hip-hop culture, Toni Blackman, is going to be speaking at Hastings College on Tuesday, March 3 at 7pm in the Perkins Auditorium (723 E. 9th St.). This event is free and open to the public.

Blackman has used her work as America’s first Hip-Hop Ambassador, appointed by the United States Department of State, as a platform to position the US as a good global citizen. She is the founder and director of Freestyle Union, which uses free styling as a tool to encourage social responsibility.

Peace, literacy, HIV awareness, and gender violence prevention are part of Blackman’s diplomatic work. She will be speaking to HC about her travels and the work she has done while being serving as America’s Hip-Hop Ambassador. Blackman will be presenting “Travels of a Lyrical Ambassador” to help HC celebrate Black History and Women’s History month. 

“We think Toni is an excellent speaker for our students because she brings issues connected to social justice through alternative modes of communication such as rhythm and rhyme (hip-hop),” said Dr. Ingrid Bego, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Hastings College.

Blackman is currently at Carnegie Hall coaching students on emceeing and using spoken word performances. She does this in accord with directing the two initiatives, Rhyme Like a Girl and Freestyle Union, which she founded. Rhyme Like a Girl promotes creative leadership. These women use their performances of song and improvisation as a tool for social change. Freestyle Union was founded as workshops; the mission of the program is to use artistic expression to promote positive images with the rap community.

This event is made possible with funds from the Artist Lecture Series Main Committee.

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