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University of Iowa News Release


March 24, 2009

Journalist and hip-hop activist Harry Allen to speak at UI April 1

Hip-hop activist and journalist Harry Allen will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, in the Second Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU).

The talk, presented by the University Lecture Committee, is free and open to the public.

Allen, a self-described "hip-hop activist and media assassin," has written about race, politics, and culture for Vibe, The Source, The Village Voice, and other publications for over 20 years.

As an expert covering hip-hop culture, he has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on National Public Radio, MTV, VH-1, CNN, BBC, and other information channels, and is also well known for his association with the seminal band Public Enemy. His photographs, which appear in "Part of the Permanent Record: Photos From the Previous Century" at the Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery in New York City, date from Allen's earliest days working with the members of what would become Public Enemy and their production arm, the Bomb Squad.

Allen serves as an advisor to the Archives of African American Music and Culture at Indiana University, and as the host/producer of the weekly WBAI-NY 99.5 FM radio show, "Nonfiction."

Harry Allen worked in the crisis public relations/public affairs department of computer entertainment giant Rockstar Games from 2004 to 2006. Presently, Allen is working on a book about architectural design in computer and video games. This research has already been recognized by the Graham Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Architectural League of New York, and the MacDowell Colony. He publishes the blog, Media Assassin, at Harry Allen lives with his wife, Zakiya, in Harlem, New York.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: University Lecture Committee, 319-335-3407,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,