Hip-hop author visits the library’s Learning Center

Author and professor Ralph E. Godbolt visited the Learning Center on May 16 to talk about his new book “Kickin the Ballistics: Reflections on the HIP HOP Generation,” poverty and power, and discuss issues of diversity, violence and hopelessness.

He stressed how impactful being in the GED class is for students. He noted that it would change not only their lives, but their family’s lives. He told students that it is important to remember where we came from and that those life experiences make up the fabric of who we are or want to become.

“I didn’t think much about where I came from and didn’t much care. But he made me really think about my life and how the things that happened make me who I am,” a student said.

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.

With the introduction of crack cocaine, the 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.

“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.

The book 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.

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.

For more information about the Learning Center and the opportunities for learning, call 326-0536, ext. 151 or 160. The Learning Center is a United Way Partner Agency.