Kumasi to deliver 2017 Gryphon Lecture

Kafi Kumasi

Kafi D. Kumasi will deliver the 2017 Gryphon Lecture on Friday, April 28, at the iSchool. Sponsored annually by The Center for Children's Books (CCB), the lecture features a leading scholar in the field of youth and literature, media, and culture. It is free and open to the campus and public.

In "Check the Rhyme: Harnessing Hip Hop’s Enduring Literacies with Teens Through Libraries," Kumasi will address the following:

Hip Hop has become a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon that significantly shapes the way young people view and interact in the world. At a time when Black and Latino male youth are being hyper-criminalized and incarcerated at high rates in the U.S., it is important to remember the gifts that young Black and Latinos have given the world by founding Hip Hop on the streets of New York in the 1970s and 80s. Using Paulo Friere’s concept of literacy as transformative thinking and problem solving, Dr. Kumasi outlines some of the enduring literacies of Hip Hop that can teachers and librarians can use to honor students’  knowledge and social justice concerns in the learning process.

Kumasi is an iSchool research fellow and associate professor of library and information science (LIS) at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She teaches in the areas of school library media, urban librarianship, multicultural services and resources, and research methods. A Laura Bush 21st Century Scholar, she holds a PhD from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a master's degree in LIS from Wayne State. Her research interests revolve around issues of literacy, equity, and diversity, particularly in urban educational environments spanning K-12 and graduate school contexts. Her publications include book chapters and journal articles in prestigious journals, including Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, School Libraries Worldwide, School Library Media Research, and Urban Library Journal.

The lecture, which will be recorded, will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Room 126 of the iSchool. A reception will follow in the East Foyer.

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