From Black Voices — Rapper Talib Kweli made a mark on hip-hop music with his debut album, “Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star,” in 1998.
The conscious Brooklyn rapper also collaborated with hip-hop artists Hi-Tek and Kanye West to create hits like the “The Blast” and “Get By.” Since then, Kweli’s created a website, “Year of The Blacksmith,” and released his latest CD, “Gutter Rainbows,” on Jan 25th.
Here Kweli talks Black History Month and what it means to him.Black Voices: What was the most pivotal moment in history that impacted you and why?
Talib Kweli: In my own experience, it was seeing Stevie Wonder perform at the White House as a child in the early 1980s. It was extremely moving, and I was fortunate to have my mother take me to see him in person.
BV: Do you celebrate black history?
TK: Yes, but I think it should be incorporated into general history. I believe in the importance of Carter G. Woodson‘s idea, but I don’t do anything particularly special for the month. As an African American, I think it should be a part of everyday life. This country was built on the backs of African Americans and this history is the world’s history.
BV: Did you celebrate black history as a youth? How?
TK: Yes, I did with my parents, but in school I don’t think it’s done in a genuine way. For example, my wife is from Texas, where racism is rampant, and celebrating Black History Month in school did give her a sense of pride but made her feel slightly embarrassed.