Breakin’ BLACK Reachin’ Back Conference Recap

April 29-30, 2022 marked the first Breakin’ BLACK Reachin’ Back (virtual) two-day conference and celebration! BBRB Conference Organizers, Janelle Poe, Meli Kimathi, Dr. Vanessa Hein, Dasharah Green, Jeff Voss, and Asma Neblett, invited attendees to breathe, dream, remember, dig, stretch, move, spin, and create together. 

Breakin’ BLACK Reachin’ Back is an experiential conversation engaging with Black intellectual, political and creative concepts through the primary disciplinary nodes of Black studies, Hip Hop and DJ scholarship. The virtual two day gathering centered practitioners as theorists celebrating the generativity of listening, breathing, being, moving, making and saying that has always envisioned and enabled Black existence far beyond colonial interference, calling us together to innovate, re/connect, and playback ideas and understanding as we r/evolve and remix. 

The conference was hosted on Hopin with each session open to the public, including offerings from DJs, dancers, lyricists, scholars, students, and visual artists. 

Each day featured curated panels, breakout sessions for presentations and papers, keynote conversations and performances, followed by a virtual party with DJs like Natasha Diggs (Soul In The Horn) and Junior RecordBreakin’ (Eavesdrop Radio/Dust N Dignity).

Keynote conversations included “Jackin’ Bodies and Beats: The Party as Story, Healing and Community,”  “Pushin BLACK: New Directions Forward and Beyond” and “Creative Genius and Institutions” include actor and musician Phonte Coleman (Foreign Exchange/Little Brother/Questlove Supreme Podcast) and Dr. Tressie McMillam Cottom (UNC-CH), Dr. Todd Craig (GC/Medgar Evers), Dr. Adam Banks (Stanford U.), DJ scholar Lynnée Denise, Dr. Marisa Parham (UMD), composer and filmmaker Steve Wallace (King Hal), multidisciplinary artist and scholar Brian “B” Polite (Ase Dance & Afromosaic Soul), and producer Derick “D” Prosper (Soul In The Horn).

See full conference schedule

See conference playlist

For more information visit the official BBRB website for updates and conference recordings. 


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309