Alpha Week starts off with forum on hip-hop

by David Klein | 2/17/03 6:00am

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity's annual Alpha Week kicked off last evening in Collis Commonground with an examination on the current state of hip hop.

The event, entitled "Warning Explicit Content: The Hypocrisy in Hip Hop" was primarily a discussion based forum that allowed audience members to voice their opinions on a variety of issues including the commercialism of hip-hop and the content of rap music.

Alpha Phi Alpha member Heiyab Tessena '04, who served as the event's moderator, began the evening with a multimedia presentation on the foundations of hip-hop. Tessena was quick to dispel the widely accepted myth that hip-hop was purely rap based, noting that break dancing, deejaying and graffiti also comprise the genre.

The event proceeded with a lengthy discussion on the hip-hop community.

Last night's event was the first of seven programs that will take place during Alpha Week, with additional events scheduled throughout the week.

Alpha Phi Alpha President Aleron Kong '03 described Alpha Week as a "a week long series of programs that focus on issues dealing with the black community at Dartmouth." Kong added that each program seeks to address a "specific need in the community."

While Alpha Week coincides with Black History month, Kong noted that the events are not exclusive to the celebration, and that the series, which is entering its third decade, has traditionally fallen in February.

Alpha Week will continue this afternoon at 5 p.m. in the 1930s Room of Rockefeller Hall with an exploration on voting patterns titled "Why Do We Vote This Way?" Future events include discussions on a diverse range of issues including black female image, the Dartmouth community and affirmative action.

A "Blackout!!!" party, scheduled to take place Saturday evening, will round out the week's events. The party will be preceded by the annual Alpha Week Knowledge Ball.

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