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  • "From Rec Rooms to Classrooms: Hip-Hop Culture's 50-Yera Impact on the Field of Education" on a bright graffiti background

Current Exhibit

From Rec Rooms to Classrooms: Hip-Hop Culture’s 50 Year Impact on the Field of Education

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop culture. From the very beginning, hip-hop has been tied to the field of education. At the end of summer, DJ Kool Herc and his sister, Cindy Campbell, hosted an annual Back-to-School Jam in the basement of their apartment building in the Bronx, NY to raise money for their school clothes and supplies. It is said that hip-hop was born at the Back-to-School Jam held on August 11, 1973.  These parties made popular the DJing, emceeing, and dancing techniques that frame hip hop culture. Now, for over five decades, hip-hop culture has permeated all corners of the globe and all aspects of our society touching business, entertainment, media, advertising, sports, and education.

In April 2023, the American Educational Research Association joined in honoring and acknowledging this important cultural milestone with the exhibit, “AERA HipHop50.”  This exhibition is on loan to the University of South Carolina for the Fall 2023 semester and is part of a university-wide celebration of hip-hop culture’s global impact.

Join us as we remember, learn, engage, and celebrate the golden anniversary of this incredible culture that Black and Latinx youth gifted the world.

This exhibit was curated by a national research team of scholars convened by AERA:

Research Director & Lead Exhibition Curator:
Toby S. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Professor of Higher Education
University of South Carolina


Research & Exhibition Team:
Crystal Leigh Endsley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Africana Studies
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Kelly Allen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Urban Education & Leadership
Augusta University

Bianca Nightengale-Lee, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Curriculum & Instruction
Florida Atlantic University


"Fron Rec Rooms to Classrooms" would also not be possible without the generous contributions of our donors who shared their meaningful hip-hop memorabilia as part of the exhibit. Learn more about them and hear their words on the Donors page.

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