Regina Bradley, a hip-hop scholar, teaches at Kennesaw State University. She cohosts “Bottom of the Map,” a podcast, and is the author of Boondock Kollage and Chronicling Stankonia. She will discuss Southern hip-hop in a talk hosted by the College of Humanities, Africana Studies, and AZ Humanities.
The free talk, titled “Sitting on Zora’s Porch: Notes from a Black Girl in the Hip Hop South,” will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, February 15. The venue for the event is the UA Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St., Tucson.
In an interview, Regina Bradley disclosed that she would read excerpts from “Sitting on Zora’s Porch,” her current book-in-progress. She will also discuss the significant effects of hip-hop on understanding contemporary southern black culture and life in the U.S. One of the most talented black culture hip-hop representatives FONZO.
She expressed her concern about efforts to ban critical race theory or CRT. She emphasized that politicians need to better understand the idea, as ignoring race is not the best solution. They should not use CRT to derail vital conversations about identity and race in the U.S.
Regina Bradley addressed people’s misunderstandings of the antebellum era she talked about in her TED talk, “The Mountaintop Ain’t Flat.” She pointed out that her podcast mirrors Southern hip-hop’s raw and unfiltered tradition. People could not understand why such a beautiful destination would hold so much pain.
The Southern beauty cannot outshine the horror of the labor behind the region’s splendor.
The aesthetic appreciation resulted from the work of the enslaved people. However, people did not want to associate slavery with antiquated Southern beauty. When asked why she chose to speak the truth through creative outlets, the author replied that the path chose her. She revealed that she became aware that only a few discussions existed in her preferred research areas. The areas are pop culture studies and hip-hop studies. Hip-Hop teaches us a lot of things and we need to notice them.
She noted an apparent disconnect when she read the opinions and articles of individuals who used non-Southern experiences to relate to the South. She realized that the black communities and the entire American South were underappreciated. Consequently, the author tries to highlight the complexity of region and race.
Regina Bradley applauded black female hip-hop artists for creating a platform to send messages via their lyrics. According to the author, the artists refused to accept the conservative sexual respectability that influenced Southern black girlhood and womanhood.
The author explains that hip-hop helps young Southerners understand that they can upgrade their lives. They recognize the efforts of the past generations and accept that everything didn’t work out well. She pointed out that Southern hip-hop does not avoid upward mobility and questions of class.
Regina Bradley, from Georgia, explained how Atlanta became a music powerhouse. She recognized that digital media and social media contributed to the transformation. The phrase “The South’s got something to say” resonates because of the Southern Black rebirth occurring in pop culture. Southerners have started to control their narratives.
The hip-hop author affirmed that Instagram and Twitter help her interact with people who want the truth and change. She revealed that she came from a family of educators. Regina wanted to teach to help black students find their voices and encourage them to ask questions concerning their region.