top of page

The 2024 Black History Month Experience (Part 4)

Event: Black History Month Guest Speaker, VTS (View The Space), New York, NY

Date: Thursday, February 29, 2024

Kicks of Choice: Nike Missing Link x Air Max 1 “Susan”

Thoughts captured on March 3, 2024


As always, Black History Month is technically four weeks long (we could make the argument that Black History should be a year-long endeavor, but that’s a different post for a different day). In 2024, leap year gave us an extra day to get our “BHM” on. So the call for my fourth Black History Month talk in four weeks came from the good folks at VTS.


VTS was thinking about having a meaningful dialogue that aligned with the theme of Black History Month 2024: "African Americans and the Arts." They saw the work I’ve been doing at the intersection of Hip Hop, African American Studies, Popular Culture, Music and Education; after a couple conversations and a series of mutual commonalities, we scheduled a time for me to come into the NYC headquarters to give a hybrid talk for VTS (with both in-person attendees and Zoom participants globally).


VTS (View The Space) occupies the corporate real estate space. So it’s not the typical venue that I’ve found myself speaking in. However, after a series of conversations, it became clear there was a conversation to have about Black Excellence, and the infinite possibilities Black people exhibit in their daily lives. And the work I’m doing speaks to that idea to the fullest!


It was definitely dope to be with the VTS folks at their midtown Headquarters. After a super-quick DJ set, we talked about the book and then went into a great dialogue around Hip Hop music and culture. What I quickly realized was that many of the folks at VTS are of my generation. So there was this uncanny connection to Hip Hop. The CEO immediately pointed out the Mobb Deep sticker on my Mac. Other folks were keenly tapped into Hip Hop in ways that were initially unexpected, but it really reminded me just how much Hip Hop is global popular culture, and for many folks, it’s the soundtrack of our lives! The other aspect of the day that was really special, is we engaged in deep conversations around the idea of how Hip Hop has not only infiltrated and enhanced educational spaces, but has also permeated corporate spaces as well. In many ways, Hip Hop has become the glue and the commonality to a humanity that immediately comes to the forefront once you tap in on the fact that “Shook Ones Pt. 2” is a lot of people’s favorite song!


But the dialogue didn’t stop there. The next day, I received emails from people at VTS thanking me for sharing my thoughts and ideas with them. One person shared how listening to Biz Markie (RIP) in high school changed the trajectory of their high school experience in meaningful ways. I know that Biz would’ve loved to hear this story – and it just goes to show how deeply impactful Hip Hop music and culture has become to the fabric of our daily lives and shared histories. I know February 29th only happens once every four years, but I’m really excited we were able to get this talk in on the last day of Black History Month. And to be honest, running around the country in February laid me on my back with the flu the week before. So I was glad I could pull it together and get back on my feet just before this talk.


As always, shout out to the crew over at VTS for tuning into my message and being in dialogue with me about the importance of Hip Hop, Black Excellence and infinite possibilities. Special thanks to Jess Scott, Miranda Francois and Ivette Assis for helping me to understand what this moment could be and how we could make it great for everyone involved. Penny and Andrew for making sure all the tech I needed was on point. Finally, thanks to Nick and Josh for really sharing some special insights with me about how critical Hip Hop was to both of their lives in the early days but also in contemporary times.


Four weeks, four talks…sounds like it’s time for a power nap for the kid!!!

1 view0 comments


bottom of page