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Monday, January 31, 2011

Omaha Table Talk to Host February Ethnic Potluck Dinner and Music Discussion

With each generation, a genre of music has helped define who they are and given them a voice. For our parent’s generation it was Rock 'N' Roll. For my husband and I that would be Rap music.

Some of you may not have a fondness for Rap music like my husband and I. We both can recollect countless rap stories from our teenage years. The most noteworthy, I remember were the nights after basketball games in high school, when our entire team would rap DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince lyrics on the bus ride back to school. I also can vividly remember the stories my husband’s mom would tell when we started dating about his 2 Live Crew tape (yes, I said tape) meeting a vacuum cleaner. Of course, being a feminist my choice in Rap music varies from my husbands. No matter -- Rap music was our voice -- like the current generation’s voice is Hip-Hop music.

In celebration of Black History Month, Omaha Table Talk will host its 2nd Annual Ethnic Potluck Dinner and Discussion on Thursday, Feb. 10. This year’s event will provide information on the origins of Rap and its evolution to today's Hip-Hop music, as well as a panel discussion. Guest speakers will speak throughout the night on: “Hip Hop Music Friend of Foe? Issues of Race and Gender.” It will be held at West Hills Church, 3015 S. 82nd Ave., Omaha, Neb., from 6 to 9 p.m.

"We will view a clip of the popular video on Hip-Hop music and talk about the implications and suitability of the music on groups and culture,” said A'Jamal Byndon, Omaha Table Talk event organizer. “The event will include a feminist perspective questioning the music degradation of women and offer a critique of its mentality toward the popular culture.”

Omaha Table Talk is a program housed in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). It's designed to build social capital and improve race relations in the community with the help of UNO students, faculty and staff.

“Last year we had over 75 participants engaged in spirited discussion and building social capital on the topics and questions,” Byndon said. “We hope that this session will give the audience the opportunity to talk with others about the popular genre of Hip-Hop and Rap music in its various forms.”

There is no cost to attend, but attendees are asked to bring an ethnic dish to share. “Participants are asked to bring a dish representing a culture that helps make up the rich diversity found in Omaha,” Byndon said.

population-we supports this upcoming event sponsored by Omaha Table Talk -- where everyone has a seat at the table. See this link for a full schedule and R.S.V.P. form.

Registrations are being taken no later than Tuesday, Feb. 8. For more information or to register, contact A’Jamal Byndon at, (402) 561.7594 or visit

Organizer’s note: Dealing with these music genres -- this session will investigate mature subject matter -- it is only recommended for high school age and older individuals.

So, this is a call-to-action for population-we readers to get out and learn about others. Join in a discussion at a local coffee shop or at an event like Omaha Table Talk’s ethnic potluck supper. In short, Rapper The Notorious B.I.G. (Biggie Smalls) once said it best: “We can't change the world, unless we change ourselves.”
- population-we blog post by Becky Bohan Brown

1 comment:

  1. While the hip hop culture may not hold the same sentimental value to your slightly older sister, I think that this sounds like a good way to understand the impact both good and bad. Of course, rap music and the hip hop lifestyle has been embraced by many cultures just as Rock and Roll and other music genres can trace their roots to Black culture.

    I like Rap music with positive affirmations or that or fun without being offensive. It is poetry after all is said and done. :)

    I saw a man say how to understand youth you should take interest in what they find interesting and use that as a bridge. If a person does not try to relate to a culture by gaining respect and understanding, I do not think they would get very far in gaining access to the community.