How Hip-Hop Has Become a Gateway to Black Poetry

By: The Root Staff

Left of Black interviews poet and professor Elizabeth Alexander about how young people are coming to poetry through their experience with hip-hop, and what it means that more poets are winning prizes and recognition.

Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Elizabeth Alexander to discuss the black art aesthetic, growing recognition for black poets and whether hip-hop is poetry. Alexander—the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of African American Studies, and a professor of American studies and English, at Yale University—was chosen by President Barack Obama to compose and read a poem for his 2009 inauguration.


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