History, Hip-Hop and American Pop Culture
Rap and Hip-hop music have deep cultural roots. The two genres have a long history of promoting social change and breaking down racial barriers. “Hip-hop speaks to issues that transcend race, class, gender, and sexual orientation.” per Dr. Whitaker. He hopes that people will walk away from his talk with a willingness to learn more about diversity issues, along with a better understanding of how hip-hop reflects our evolving cultural climate.
Matthew C. Whitaker, Ph.D. is an award-winning educator, author, and community engagement specialist, leadership coach, motivational speaker, and founder of Diamond Strategies (2026). He is certified through Cornell University as a diversity, equity, and inclusion specialist, and he founded the Arizona State University Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, winner of the 2014 Arizona Diversity Leadership Alliance (DLA) Inclusive Workplace Award, where he was a professor of history for 15 years. He co-founded the Healing Racism Dialogue Series, winner of the 2008 National League of Cities Inclusive Award, and he was given DLA’s 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Leader Award. His books include Hurricane Katrina: America’s Unnatural Disaster, and Race Work: The Rise of Civil Rights in the Urban West. His forthcoming memoir is The Undisputed Truth: A Revolutionary Journey to Black Manhood.