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Joan Morgan

It's a Long Story

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Sydney Opera House

Joan Morgan grew up in the Bronx alongside a growing hip hop movement in the 1980s. Coming of age in the 90s, as hip hop became an international cultural phenomenon, Joan Morgan became one of the first women to write about hip hop for magazines. In 1999, Morgan coined the term “hip-hop feminism” in her groundbreaking book When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost which applied a feminist lens to a nortoriously sexist genre. More recently, she penned a definitive analysis of The Miseducation of Lauren Hill, to mark the 20th anniversary of that classic, seminal album.

Background reading:

  • “Hip hop has always been a boys’ club.” In a talk for Chicago Ideas, Joan breaks down how a commercial interest in misogynistic music makes it difficult to be a feminist in hip hop.
  • On iconic radio show The Breakfast Club, she discusses how to deal with the problematic history of ‘90s hip hop.
  • An interview with the Paris Review on the cultural and political history of Lauryn Hill.

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