Follow journey from jazz to hip hop

Sterling Plumpp

Sterling Plumpp, professor emeritus of English, will speak at UIC Thursday.

A blues poet and a Chicago historian will take their audience on a journey from blues, jazz and gospel to hip hop at a lecture Thursday for Black History Month.

Sterling Plumpp, professor emeritus of English, and Christopher Reed, professor emeritus of history at Roosevelt University, will explore the imprint of music on African-American history and culture and the effect of the Great Migration on Chicago blues and jazz.

“Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Hip Hop: A Continuum of African-American Culture in the Diaspora” begins at 4 p.m. Thursday in 1-470 Daley Library.

Plumpp, a Mississippi native who taught English and African-American studies until his retirement in 2001, has won multiple awards for his jazz- and blues-infused poetry, including the Carl Sandburg Literacy Award for Poetry. He has another claim to fame: winning the $1 million Illinois Lottery’s Vegas Instant Game in 2001.

“Overall it was a good investment of $20,” he said at the time.

Reed is an expert on Chicago history and the history of black Chicago. His numerous books include The Rise of Chicago’s Black Metropolis, 1920-1929, released in 2011.

Other upcoming Black History Month events include:

• “Hoop It Up,” a basketball game between faculty, staff, students and alumni, Friday, 6 p.m., Student Recreation Facility

• “History of Racism in Popular Music” with the acoustic hip hop band Scratch Track, 1 p.m., Illinois Room, Student Center East.


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