LAWRENCE – It’s a testament to rapper and singer Lauryn Hill’s artistry that her lyrics resonate just as powerfully today as they did when her solo album was released in 1998. The poetry of her words will be the topic of discussion at a University of Kansas presentation from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1 at Alderson Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
“Tribute to Lauryn Hill” will feature performances from an acclaimed poet and a Kansas City-area female rapper, and a panel discussion with a question-and-answer session. It is the fourth installment in the “Make It Funky” lecture series.
The keynote performance of the evening will come from poet, author and activist Jessica Care Moore, who first came onto the scene at the “Showtime at the Apollo” competition in the 1990s. She will perform her own work and discuss the artistry of Hill’s lyrics. Before Moore’s performance, rapper MC Storm will perform. She has gained a reputation as one of the most lyrically talented artists in the region.
Panelists are Nicole Hodges Persley, assistant professor of theatre at KU; Alysha Griffin, graduate student in English at KU; Meta DuEwa Jones, associate professor of English, and African and African diaspora studies at the University of Texas, Austin; and Natasha Ria El-Scari, a Kansas City-based poet and fellow of Cave Canem poets collective.
The event will be followed by a book signing with Moore and Jones, who wrote “The Muse is Music: Jazz Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to the Spoken Word.”
The presentation is supported by the CLAS Acts program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which sponsors events that make KU research accessible to the community. Additional sponsors are the Office of Diversity and Equity, Department of African and African-American Studies, Department of American Studies, Department of English, Project on the History of Black Writing and the Black Faculty and Staff Council.