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Hip-hop artist Talib Kweli will discuss his memoir in final GRCC Diversity Lecture Series event of the semester

April 5, 2022, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Hip-hop artist Talib Kweli will be the final speaker in this year’s Grand Rapids Community College Diversity Lecture Series, appearing virtually at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6.

The Diversity Lecture Series provides students, employees, and community members access to scholars, thought-leaders, activists, and artists and is presented by GRCC’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Kweli, a New York native, is a rapper, activist, and entrepreneur and is recognized as one of the most accomplished hip-hop artists. 

He is known for partnering with Mos Def for the duo Black Star, teaming up with producer Hi-Tek for Reflection Eternal, releasing landmark solo material, and collaborating with Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Just Blaze, J Dilla, and Madlib.

“ODEI has never shied away from inviting speakers whose influence ranges from academics at the pinnacle of their scholarship to grassroots activists making an impact in their part of the world,” said Dr. B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, GRCC’s Chief Equity and Inclusion officer. “Talib’s family roots, love of hip- hop, socio-political awareness, immeasurable talent, and infectious work ethic have positioned him as an iconoclast of popular culture. How he got there will unfold as part of the moderated discussion.”

 In 2021, Kweli released his memoir, Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story. A reviewer for the Washington Post wrote, “the push-pull between commercial hip-hop, with its frequent emphasis on empty materialism, and Kweli’s message-driven, popular conscious rap is one of the main topics at the heart of the [book].”

The book discussion will be moderated by Bakari Kitwana, author, journalist, and executive director of Rap Sessions, which has hosted over 100 town hall meetings around the nation on difficult dialogues facing the hip-hop and millennial generations.

A live DJ set featuring Monk Matthaeus of GR Hip will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Anyone interested in attending can RSVP at

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