Following Women’s History Month Johnson C. Smith University is now offering a course that focuses on an in-depth look at influential black female rappers.
The course is inspired by Rapsody’s 2019 album “Eve” and is taught by the visiting professor Dr. Tyler Bunzey, a UNC-Chapel Hill African American literature and hip hop teacher.
While music and hip-hop classes are currently offered at the Johnson C. Smith University none are like this. This course will allow students to have an in-depth look at themes and various histories of black womanhood and culture. Women have had various movements throughout the country and it is within music and women, and black women especially, that they can express and tell the stories.
This course will be filled with stories and guest speakers that will share their experiences. These stories will range from the Black women’s discourses to the current political climate in America. Courses like this have the ability to connect the student to the performer thus learning about the contributions female performers have made to society.
Dr, Bunzey is very aware of his identity and states:
“Because of my identity, I am very wary and very careful to try to avoid the traditions of white academics, when discussing and talking about Black culture and teaching Black culture. Primarily through colonial lenses, it is purported that Black culture is something to be examined from afar and that expertise can be garnered through book knowledge, which is simply not true. This reproduces the kind of systematic inequality that marks our whole national structure,”
With this course, he hopes students will look at black womanhood from a different lens. And look at the history that many academics are wary of teaching and showing and hopes his students will understand what Black culture is all about.
The class was introduced to Johnson C. University last fall and has officially started this semester. There is hope for this class to stay and many students are already loving the course. You can read more information about the class and the students here.