Black History Month at Auburn University kicks off Feb. 3 with talk by Jay Smooth

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New York based hip-hop scholar and cultural commentator Jay Smooth will be the featured guest speaker as Auburn University kicks off Black History Month Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 6 p.m. in Ballroom A and B in the Auburn Student Center. The free event is open to the public.

Smooth is the founder and host of New York City's longest running hip-hop radio program, WBAI's The Underground Railroad, which he launched as a teenager in 1991.

During his talk at Auburn, Smooth will discuss topics ranging from present day politics and social justice to music, media and culture. He also will delve into a discussion of race – specifically how we talk about race and racism as a culture – sharing thought-provoking, humorous and entertaining suggestions for expanding our worldview on the subject.

Most recently, Smooth has won widespread acclaim for his commentaries on politics and culture at The site's mix of humor and incisive analysis has garnered millions of views and been frequently featured by NPR, Current TV and MSNBC.

Videos including “How to Tell Someone They Sound Racist” have become part of the curriculum in many schools and universities, and Smooth's recent TEDx talk at Hampshire College has already become one of the most widely viewed talks on the TEDx website. Smooth is currently a staff member at Race Forward where he creates video content to address systemic racism.

For more information about Smooth, go to

Other Auburn University sponsors for this event are Africana Studies, the Black Student Union, Mosaic Theatre Company, Office of University Writing/ePortfolio Project and the Division of Student Affairs.

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