Prominent Black Southern culture writer, researcher to speak at annual MLK convocation

Students link arms together on stage at MLK Convocation 2019.
Students link arms on the stage of Pearce Auditorium as part of a performance at a previous winter convocation.

Brenau University and the Black Faculty and Staff Association will host the annual winter convocation at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19, in Pearce Auditorium.

Dr. Regina N. Bradley

Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the keynote and following discussions on Thursday. The discussion will take place at 7 p.m. in Thurmond McRae Lecture Hall on the historic Gainesville campus.

“This year’s convocation focuses on the multitude of Martin Luther King’s messages on progress and struggle. We talk about his dream, because more work needs to be done and striving for that dream has to be continuous,” Madia Cooper-Ashirifi, president of the BFSA, said. “Our guest, Regina Bradley, Ph.D., will be talking about southern history and the struggles through her research of Black southern culture. Her books and talks reveal the significance of hip-hop in bridging the Black American South to the present and future.”

Bradley is an award-winning writer and researcher. She will present “OutKasting the System: Chronicling Struggle and Progress” as the keynote. Bradley is the author of the book Chronicling Stankonia: the Rise of the Hip-Hop South, which explores how hip-hop, specifically Atlanta duo OutKast, influences the culture of the Black American South following the Civil Rights Movement.

She has also been featured in the Netflix docuseries Hip-Hop Evolution, and gave a TEDx Talk, “The Mountaintop Ain’t Flat,” in 2017. She is an associate professor of English and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University.

A post-convocation discussion will follow that evening at 7 p.m. in Thurmond McRae Lecture Hall and via Zoom. It will be led by student leaders and Cooper-Ashirifi. Students are encouraged to submit discussion questions using a QR code listed in their programs and on flyers around campus. The discussion is open to students both on ground and online.