Bakari Kitwana is a journalist, activist and political analyst whose commentary on politics and youth culture have been seen on the CNN, FOX News (the O’Reilly Factor), C-Span, PBS (The Tavis Smiley Show) and heard on NPR. His 2002 book The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture, which focuses on young Blacks born after the Civil Rights Movement, has been adopted as a course book in classrooms at over 100 colleges and universities.
The Executive Director of Rap Sessions: Community Dialogues on Hip-Hop, which tours the nation conducting difficult dialogues facing the hip-hop generation, Kitwana published his first book, The Rap on Gangsta Rap in 1994. Since then he’s been the Editorial Director of Third World Press, Executive Editor of the Source—the nation’s top-selling music magazine— and co-founder the first ever National Hip-Hop Political Convention, which brought over 4000 young people to Newark in 2004 to create and endorse a political agenda for the hip-hop generation.
A consultant on hip-hop for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Kitwana has been a visiting scholar at Kent State University where he taught a course entitled “The Politics of the Hip-Hop Generation” and a has written a column on hip-hop for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. An active writer, his essays have appeared in The New York Times, the Village Voice, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Savoy and the Progressive. For the last decade, he’s lectured and given keynote presentations at the nation’s leading colleges and universities, including Princeton University, Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of California – Berkeley, Columbia University and countless others across the country.
A native of Long Island, NY, he holds a B.A. and two Masters degrees (in English and Teaching) from the University of Rochester. Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop (Basic Books, 2005) is his most recent book.