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Rapper-producer-actor-activist David Banner co-leads Planet Deep South Colloquium

David Banner – rapper, activist, producer, actor – participates in a town hall-style panel discussion at the 2016 “Planet Deep South Colloquium” alongside Miss JSU Charence Higgins. (Photo by Breyionna Nashay Flowers/JSU)

Rapper, producer, actor and activist David Banner helped to lead a panel discussion at Jackson State University at the 2016 “Planet Deep South Colloquium: Speculative Cultural Production and Africanisms in the American Black South.”

In conjunction with Astro Blackness, the town hall-style meeting was held Thursday in the Dollye M.E. Robinson Liberal Arts Building at JSU. It was sponsored by The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO and The Institute for Social Justice and Race.

Student leaders joined Banner and Kiese Laymon – a writer, editor and associate professor of English and Africana Studies at Vassar College. Laymon is also a Grisham writer-in-residence at the University of Mississippi, 2015-2016.

The Deep South conversation broached the relevance of HBCUs in the future of Black America.

The three-day interdisciplinary colloquium was open to all scholars, artists and others who wanted to explore the intellectual and creative expression of African people. Discussions probed southern Black cultural production through a historical and speculative lens. The colloquium included exhibitions and a closing plenary session.

Thinkers, writers, musicians and artists said they envision a Pan-African world that is diverse, specific and seemingly unlimited.

Some session topics included: Afro-Futurism and Southern Hip Hop; Afro-Futurism: A Multimedia Experience Featuring George Clinton; Sun Ra as an Afro-Futurist Prophet; Black Comics in the American South; Afro-Futurism, Black Power, and Pan-Africanism.

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