By Southwester Staff

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will host its inaugural Hip-Hop Block Party Saturday, August 13, to celebrate the first anniversary of the release of the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap. The event will feature performances by local and national talent, presentations and activities that explore hip-hop music’s origins and cultural influence from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The main stage will be outdoors near Madison Drive and indoor performances and events are set for Heritage Hall on the museum’s first floor. The Hip-Hop Block Party is free; however, tickets are required for entry and are available through the museum’s website.

“The origins of hip-hop and rap rest in community where people gathered together in basements, on street corners, neighborhood dance parties and community shows to tell the stories of the people and places that brought it to life in a language all its own,” said Dwandalyn Reece, associate director for curatorial affairs at NMAAHC. “It is only fitting that NMAAHC celebrates the one-year anniversary of the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap with a block party in our front yard. Like a true block party, we invite all ages to come together to enjoy activities and performances in honor of the museum’s greatest homage to the music and culture of hip-hop.”                                

The block party will feature daytime and evening activities and performances. Ticket holders can tour the museum’s exhibitions, including “Represent: Hip-Hop Photography,” in the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA) gallery on the second floor. 

In addition to the Hip-Hop Block Party, the museum will premiere gOD-Talk 2.0: Hip-Hop & #BlackFaith, the seventh episode of the web-based series, live on Facebook Sunday, August 14. The hip-hop and #BlackFaith episode features several prominent hip-hop artists and religious scholars, and it explores the relationship between hip-hop culture and Black expressions of faith and spirituality.

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