Hip-hop Artist Describes Black Experience Through Jazz and Soul

By: Samuel Nolan,  The Cornell Daily Sun
November 13, 2018

​Hip-hop artist Akua Naru explores the myriad experiences of Black women through jazz and soul. She is also Harvard University’s Nasir Jones fellow at the Hutchin Center for African and African American Research.

The distinguished New Haven-born musician brought her signature voice to Ithaca on Monday evening, speaking and performing at the Africana Studies and Research Center after making an appearance in Munich, Germany less than a week ago.

Prof. Oneka LaBennett, Africana studies, helped host the conversation, which covered a range of topics from Naru’s artistic process to her political messaging.

In the spirit of Toni Morrison, Naru said she aspires to use her music to magnify the often-silenced voices of black people, adding that she speaks for all black people even if she uses her voice to resist the powers that actively limit the black female voice.

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Akua Naru