Hip-hop author to appear at James V. Brown Library

Author and professor, Ralph E. Godbolt, will host a lecture and book signing at 6 p.m. May 16 in the Lowry Room on the third floor of the Welch Family Wing at the James V. Brown Library.

He will be promoting his new book “Kickin the Ballistics: Reflections on the hip-hop generation, Poverty and Power,” and will be discussing issues of diversity, sociology, history, violence and hopelessness with attendees.

With the removal of the economic life base of once stable inner-city communities, the introduction of crack cocaine, the mass incarceration of young black and Latino men, the high school dropout crisis, high rates of gun deaths for young black and Latino men, misogynist views of black women and the HIV/AIDS crisis, the hip-hop generation has continuously been pushed close to the edge.

Invisible in mass media, the hip-hop generation has used rap music and hip-hop culture as a means to both navigate and communicate the “jungle” that is far too often the realities of high poverty urban communities. Kickin the Ballistics uses rap music as a means of exploring the hip-hop generation’s thoughts on issues such as poverty, sexual orientation, relationships, crime and education.

“Kickin the Ballistics” explores the historical impact of public policies on the hip-hop generation and argues that issues of poverty, crime and education are not an indication of “laziness” or immorality on the part of the hip-hop generation, but is in fact an indication of a unique mix of both deliberate and unintended consequences of harsh public policies and economic changes.

By using the lyrics of old school and more recent hip-hop artist like Grand Master Flash, KRS-One, Ice Cube, Kane West, Jay Z and Lupe Fiasco as a powerful tool to explain the unique circumstances facing the hip-hop generation, “Kickin the Ballistics” is a realistic look at the past, present and future of urban America and a page turner for anyone interested in social justice and equality.

The author of “Kickin’ the Ballistics,” Professor Ralph Godbolt, writes in a style that is enjoyable and readable for both adults and teens.

The use of hip-hop and real life examples pulled from urban communities across the country makes the book relevant to young and old alike and can be used as a tool to introduce and increase interest in reading and empowerment among at-risk youth and young adults.

Godbolt has earned national recognition as an expert on issues of urban affairs, public policy, non-profit management and the sociology of the hip-hop generation.

Godbolt serves as Founder, President and CEO of HIP?HOP Inc., an organization dedicated to addressing issues of poverty, community empowerment and youth development.

Godbolt also is a professor in the Graduate school of public administration at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. He has been educated at Clarion University, Cheyney University, University of Delaware and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

For more information call 326-0536 or visit For information on Godbolt, visit Books will be available for purchase.

This thought-provoking educational opportunity at the James V. Brown Library is part of the statewide literacy initiative of PA Forward, helping libraries build communities one person at a time.