Following a week-long media frenzy surrounding the rift between icons Jay-Z and Harry Belafonte, Bakari Kitwana of Rap Sessions and Mark Anthony Neal of Left of Black sat down to unpack the shortcomings of the recent Jay-Z/ Belafonte debate.


Rather than perpetuating the beef between the Civil Rights Generation and the Hip-Hop Generation, they insist the moment should be seen as an opportunity to chart a course for moving beyond media sound bites to action.


Mark Anthony Neal’s essay “My Passport Says Shawn: Toward a Hip-Hop Cosmopolitanism” (in his new book Looking for Leroy) and Bakari Kitwana’s essay “Zen and the Art of Transcending the Status Quo” (in the anthology Jay-Z, edited by Julius Bailey) are the starting points for this discussion.


Check out their discussion below:


Part I



Part II



 Thoughts on the back-and-forth between Jay Z and Harry Belafonte, and the ongoing conversation surrounding black celebrities and political engagement?

Sound off below!