Harlem Meets Hip-Hop in Honor of J.W. Johnson, Tupac

Pictured is Poet Mal Jones and Lawrence Walden pictured in front of a Harlem Renaissance collage of African-American authors, historians and jazz artist.

   The Ritz Theater and Museum presented a “From the Harlem Renaissance to Hip Hop, A birthday Celebration,”  honoring iconic figures James Weldon Johnson born June 17, 1871 and Tupac Shakur, born June 16 1971. The two men were honored with poetry verses by artist Mal Jones. Mal Jones began his segment with the pouring of libations “We pour libations to celebrate our ancestry and 100 years ago today, James Weldon Johnson began his journey and Tupac was also a pioneer in the world of music.” Visual artist and singer Lawrence Walden sang James Weldon Johnsons black national anthem, “Lift every voice and sing”.  Walden commented, “As a visual artist in addition to my performing as a vocalist I have rendered album covers in the past for many individuals, but the Harlem Renaissance is an era that made jazz an icon, then hip-hop came along and Tupac made his mark.”
   The event was free and open to the public to culture lovers of all ages.

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