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Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009

UWM Welcomes Award-Winning Authors M.K. Asante Jr., Edwidge Danticat

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Two award-winning authors will explicate the deeper meaning behind their writings this week at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Author and filmmaker M.K. Asante Jr. will lecture on his topical new manuscript, It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop, on Nov. 19, followed by critically acclaimed author Edwidge Danticat on Nov. 23.

Asante, 26, writes with wisdom beyond his years. It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop, his third literary offering, is an insightful look into today’s post hip-hop generation. In keeping with his earlier publications, Asante continues to explore stories of black America as he uncovers the hidden links between popular music and the politics of black life. Asante deals directly with the culture of hip-hop and the issues facing many people of today’s generation who feel that the genre misrepresents them. It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop is both a story of the history of hip-hop as well as a discussion on urgent issues affecting the post hip-hop culture. Underscoring it all are Asante’s subtle, astute questions about how mainstream hip-hop music is impacting social and political criticisms of today. Asante is the recipient of the 2009 Langston Hughes Award and author of three celebrated books. Sponsored by H.I.P.H.O.P. Scholars, an organization created at UWM in 2008, the university is scheduled to welcome Asante to the UWM Union Ballroom on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

 UWM’s Distinguished Lecture Series will feature award-winning novelist Edwidge Danticat. Danticat, a Haitian-born American author, has penned books ranging from novels and young adult fiction to short stories and memoirs. A number of her pieces draw much-needed attention to the struggles of Haitians and Haitian immigrants. Her latest work, Brother, I’m Dying, received the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2008 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. An acclaimed speaker as well as a celebrated author, Danticat will lecture in the UWM Union Wisconsin Room at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23. Admission to this event is $14 for the general public and $8 for students. A book signing and reception will follow Danticat’s talk.

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