Black scholars debate influence of hip-hop

/ Source: The Associated Press

Hip-hop music has created many opportunities for the black community, but is still unfairly blamed for a host of social problems, a panel of black scholars said Thursday.

Michael Eric Dyson, a humanities professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said hip-hop has become a scapegoat for the marginalization of women because of highly visible examples of misogyny in many artists' songs and music videos.

"Snoop Dogg doesn't bear the weight of the Catholic or Baptist Church," Dyson said. "Music should not be burdened with what you and I should be doing as members of society."

The scholars spoke at an annual "State of Race" discussion at Emory University. The event focused on issues ranging from education to poverty _ issues the panelists stressed existed long before hip-hop.

Hassan Bahar, a 28-year-old from Atlanta who attended the debate, said hip-hop's image has been partly detrimental.

"It's presenting an image not consistent with all black people. Hip-hop is not destroying the race, but it's not a true depiction of the race," Bahar said.