"Higher Education and Hip-Hop"
Written by: Dr. Ben Chavis for the Detroit Hip-Hop Summit 2007

Striving to achieve educational excellence in college is a goal that all people should have at the top of their career list of achievable goals. To the contrary of some of the popular myths about Hip-Hop culture, most young adults and youth today know the importance of getting a good education. Hip-Hop culture supports and encourages educational excellence.

That is why the earlier a young person comes to grips with the fact that life is more than just having fun with " hommies," the earlier the importance of "grinding" with school books will become a life-long aspect of one’s personal development. Getting an education should not be viewed as a hassle or as something "wack." Education is the most effective means by which you can achieve your life goals.

Hip-Hop is about having the highest of aspirations for yourself, family and community. Education and self-expression enhance the realization of self-empowerment. Getting your education right leads to getting your mind right and this will lead to you getting your "paper" or money right.

No matter what age you are, you should strive to get as much education as possible in school, college, graduate, and post-graduate. Higher education leads to a higher quality of life.

The Council on Higher Education is reporting college tuitions are increasing in costs throughout America. Thus having enough money for education and college is important to plan ahead of time. Education should be budgeted just like all other life essential matters that have financial implications.

I recently attended and addressed the National Annual Conference of the National Association For Equal Opportunity In Higher Education (NAFEO) in Washington, DC. The conference theme was, "America’s Black Colleges and Universities: Expanding Access, Ensuring Success, Promoting Global Competitiveness." I was very impressed not only with the tremendous turn out of administrators, professors and university presidents, but also it was impressive to witness young African American student leaders speak out about the importance of their college education and their plans to help the future positive transformation of America and the world.

At NAFEO there was a special town hall meeting entitled, "Saving Our Sons." Over 100 young African America students from Black colleges and high schools attended and spoke eloquently about the importance of higher education. Too often we only hear the negative in the media when it comes to our youth. The NAFEO conference was positive, informative and very encouraging. There is a new generation of competent and intellectual freedom fighters on the way up through our HBCU’s to the front line of the struggle for worldwide freedom, justice and equality.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) are one of the most important institutions in our communities. We all should be more supportive of these institutions of higher learning that continue to provide the best of the best of our national and international leadership.

We are returning to Detroit this weekend for the Detroit Hip-Hop Summit on Financial Empowerment: "Get Your Money Right." Doors open at 12 noon at the Max Fisher Hall, Saturday, April 14, 2007. Russell Simmons, Ciara, Mike Jones, Bone Thugs, Obie Trice, MC Lyte, Trick Trick, Free and many others will all be there to deal with the subject of financial literacy. Get your ticket at HSAN.org today.

Remember this: we are all responsible for what we do, give and receive in life. The better our education, the better our progress. The higher our standards and principles are, the higher our character and integrity will stay in tact. Hip-Hop and higher education should go together because it is all about fulfilling one’s true potential. Do not let anyone or anything hold you back. Get your education right and your money getting right will follow.