CBS Morning -Nate Burleson
To celebrate hip-hop’s first-ever history month, “CBS Mornings” spoke with Sha-Rock, America’s first female MC, Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Smithsonian curator Dwan Reece to examine the impact and influence of hip-hop on American culture.
About The Museum
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
There are four pillars upon which the NMAAHC stands:
- It provides an opportunity for those who are interested in African American culture to explore and revel in this history through interactive exhibitions
- It helps all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences
- It explores what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture
- It serves as a place of collaboration that reaches beyond Washington, D.C. to engage new audiences and to work with the myriad of museums and educational institutions that have explored and preserved this important history well before this museum was created.
The NMAAHC is a public institution open to all, where anyone is welcome to participate, collaborate, and learn more about African American history and culture. In the words of Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the Museum, “there are few things as powerful and as important as a people, as a nation that is steeped in its history.”
The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap is a first-of-its-kind multimedia collection chronicling the growth of the music and culture from the parks of the Bronx to solidifying a reach that spans the globe. The set includes 129 tracks on 9 CDs and a 300–page book with original design by Cey Adams, artist and founding creative director of Def Jam Recordings, as well as essays by some of hip-hop’s leading writers and critics and hundreds of photographs spanning decades of history. Through the music, writing, and extensive liner notes, the Anthology reveals the many trends within this multifaceted genre, its social and political implications, and its influence on popular culture.
The Anthology is the third major compendium produced by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings that tells the story of a defining era of music “of, by, and for the people,” following the Anthology of American Folk Music and Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology. It frequently highlights the objects and stories of hip-hop displayed in the National Museum of African American History and Culture galleries, offering perspective on the African American experience and its impact on American culture. Curation of the Anthology was headed by a committee including rappers Chuck D and MC Lyte; writers and scholars Jeff Chang and Mark Anthony Neal; early Def Jam senior executives-turned-cultural-advisors Bill Adler and Bill Stephney; artist and writer Questlove; and producer and educator 9th Wonder.
This release is a collaboration between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting, and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. Established by an Act of Congress in 2003, it is the culmination of decades of efforts to establish a national museum that promotes and highlights the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected close to 37,000 objects.
About Dr. Dwandalyn Reece
Executive Committee ChairNational Museum of African American History and Culture
Dwandalyn R. Reece is Curator of Music and Performing Arts at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and curated the museum’s permanent exhibition, Musical Crossroads for which she received the Secretary’s Research Prize in 2017. Reece has collaborated with other SI units on such programs as the 2016 NMAAHC Grand Opening Festival, Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration and the 2011 Folklife Festival program, Rhythm &Blues: Tell it Like It Is. She is chair of the SI pan-institutional group Smithsonian Music and is currently working on the NMAAHC and Smithsonian Folkways collaboration, The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap, and serving as co-curator of the Smithsonian Year of Music.