A.D. Carson, it seems, was born to rhyme.
When he was a fourth-grader in Illinois, his class received an assignment to write a paragraph about a picture hanging on the classroom wall. Before putting pencil to paper, Carson asked his teacher if it was okay if his paragraph rhymed.
If his teacher had said “no,” perhaps we would have heard the last from Carson. But since that assignment he hasn’t stopped rhyming, and two years ago he rhymed his doctoral dissertation at Clemson University, which he submitted as a 34-track rap album: “Owning My Masters: The Rhetoric of Rhymes & Revolutions.”
Carson, whose Ph.D. is in rhetoric, communication and information design, is an assistant professor of hip-hop and the Global South at the University of Virginia. In addition to his teaching duties, Carson travels widely to share his talents and research, and will be appearing at Stanislaus State on Feb. 25 for a free lecture/performance at 7 p.m. in Snider Hall. His appearance is part of Stan State’s celebration of Black History Month.
Carson’s Stan State presentation, entitled “This is the Next Time: Reflections on Resistance Through Rhymes & Revolutions,” will be a high-energy mix of rap and scholarship performance weaving together history, current events, literature and pop culture to examine the complex realities of the present.
In an article on his website, Carson explains the importance of including historic perspective in his art.
“This work, and education, educating and interrogating our history, interrogating our present and really thinking about what empathy means to us, these are matters of life and death, and we cannot tiptoe around them any longer,” Carson said. “I don’t see myself pulling any punches.”
Black History Month Events:
- Yoga & Meditation, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Diversity Center)
- Mixer: Celebrating Love w/Our Multiple Identities, 5-7 p.m. (Diversity Center)
- Game Night, 7-10 p.m. (Diversity Center)
- Poetry Slam, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (University Quad)
- Paint & Sip, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Diversity Center)
- Black Ball, 7-10 p.m. (Student Recreation Center)
- A.D. Carson: “This Is The Next Time: Reflections On Resistance Through Rhymes & Revolutions,” 7 p.m. (Snider Recital Hall)
- Black Education & Arts Resource Fair, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Location TBA)
- African Diaspora Fair, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (University Quad)
- Ethnic Studies “Black Power Matters” Art, Dance, Discussion & Food, 5:30-8 p.m. (Mainstage Theatre)