M.K. Asante, Jr., 26, a professor, filmmaker, poet, and author spoke to students about social issues during the post-hip hop generation at 7 p.m. in the Kehr Union Multicultural Center on Monday, Sept. 14.
His focus was his motto: “If you make an observation, you have an obligation,” which he used to explain the way he understands and tries to act on injustices in the world.
Asante also mentioned that an important observation he made came when he viewed how the mass media portrayed the African history. He wanted to address the fact that he failed to find any reference regarding the former from the point of view of an actual member of the ethnic culture.
Thus, Asante elaborated that he had an obligation to make films, “The Black Candle” (2009) and “500 Years Later” (2005), that could reach out and make others aware of the African culture and history. He is also the author of three books, his latest was featured in his talk, “It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop.”
Click on the link to this podcast to hear a segment from Asante’s speech. In the clip, he explains an experience he had on his way to teach his first class at Morgan State University, MD. (He encounters a murder victim on the side of the street and when he reported the incident to his class, he was surprised to learn they were desensitized to the violence.)
Another theme highlighted in his talk was his theory about taking “two sets of notes.” He said one set of notes would be to “ace the test” and the other he called, “the truth.” Asante stated that it is important to be aware of any misconceptions in history, such as skewed information and facts.
Asante stressed the need for young people to be informed and aware of social issues of today and to question something that appears to be unjust.
“In order to transform the world, you must challenge the status quo,” he said.