Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Texas A&M Offers Course on Hip-Hop Culture

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Texas A&M Offers Course on Hip-Hop Culture

Article excerpt

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS

The last place one might expect a course about hip-hop culture is Texas A&M University.

But English professor Dr. Finnie Coleman has taken his love of the musical genre and transformed it into a course that debuted this spring with one of the most ethnically diverse classrooms at A&M, where the majority of students and faculty have been White.

A class on this topic is a rarity on U.S. college campuses.

Coleman teaches about the history and artists of the genre, which incorporates such musical styles as rap, soul, reggae, house and spoken word. He also challenges students to dissect issues of race, gender and class, the Bryan-College Station Eagle reported earlier this month.

"Is hip-hop culture more diverse or less diverse than Aggie culture?" Coleman recently asked his class of 45 students, referring to the school's campus culture.

"Hip-hop culture is more diverse in that it metamorphosizes and transforms to fit different people. Aggie culture has the people to do it, but we're missing something," says senior Tamiko Matthews.

The A&M English department "bent over backwards" to help implement the course, Coleman says. …

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