The Multicultural Center and the Hip-Hop Club will co-sponsor a graffiti art showcase with live artists to celebrate Black History Month during UU Hour today.

“At the booth, we will have two or three graffiti artists doing live graffiti art,” said Brenton Smith, a civil engineering junior and Multicultural Center student assistant. “We will be handing out information about the history of graffiti and how it relates to Black History Month. It’s a way to show graffiti art’s connection to social expression and it’s emergence into the hip-hop community.”

The artists will be spray painting their artwork on 4-foot-by-6-foot wooden panels, “essentially freestyle painting,” Smith said. “They’re both hip-hop club affiliates and have experience with graffiti art.”

The artists will be coming up with whatever they have at the moment, providing aesthetically appealing artwork that carries a long line of history for hip-hop and the community that surrounds it.

“Hip-hop is a black cultural movement, and graffiti has been a part of that movement since the early stages; in fact, the first graffiti artist was black,” said Brian McMullen, journalism senior and president of the Students United by Hip-Hop Culture club. “This is a way to celebrate the art that has been created by the urban-neglected youth of the ’70s.”

Graffiti art is one of the four elements of hip-hop culture, the other three being break dancing, emceeing and DJ-ing.

“Graffiti is the visual expression of hip-hop, compared to break dancing which is the physical expression,” Smith said.

With many other events underway for Black History Month, this imaginative and innovative display of culture is a unique way to draw in a wider range of people.

“The main reason for having this is to attract a college audience that would be interested in hip-hop and at the same time, to give them a chance to learn about Black History Month,” Smith said. “We’re always looking to find creative ways to attract a broader audience.”

Other upcoming Black History Month events include the showing of the film “Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.” It is a story of a group of six musicians who unite to form a band during the 1999 Sierra Leone Civil War.

Their unbelievable journey has been tracked in this film, while representing the thousands of similar stories from the time period.

After the film, social sciences senior Abdul Sesay will speak of his childhood in Sierra Leone, the war and his expedition to the U.S.

The film will be shown March 2 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the University Union, room 220.

Due to a snow-in, Bakari Kitwana, the author, journalist and activist, will reschedule his presentation about “Bridging the Gap Between the Civil Rights Generation and the Hip-Hop Generation” for a later date in April.

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