An Age of Empowerment: Meet Joycelyn Wilson

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Joycelyn Wilson didn’t just grow up around music, she grew up around the lyrics. She wanted to know what artists were singing and why.

“I remember sitting and writing the lyrics,” she said. “They spoke to me. Music has been a learning space for me for a long time. It’s just in me.”

Wilson’s research examines hip-hop and what it says about the world we live in. A pioneer of hip-hop education as a practice, she uses it to address issues of civic engagement, race, and politics and to inspire future leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math.

A graduate of Atlanta’s Mays High School, Wilson is assistant professor of black media studies and an educational anthropologist in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. One of her most popular classes uses the music of Outkast, Kendrick Lamar, and other artists as texts to explore larger issues.

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