Dr. James Peterson


Writers write,
teachers teach,
activists act …
but a good scholar
does all of the above.
– dr. james peterson

Dr. James Peterson (Duke ’93, UPENN ‘03) is the Director of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University. He is also the founder of Hip-Hop Scholars, LLC, an association of Hip-Hop generational scholars dedicated to researching and developing the cultural and educational potential of Hip-Hop, urban, and youth cultures. Whether composing interdisciplinary curricula or discussing the latest topic du jour as an increasingly important media presence, Dr. Peterson reveals an acute understanding of both our contemporary American culture and the highly-charged political climate with a progressive mindset.
An adamant proponent of educational reform, Dr. Peterson is a strong advocate of integrating youth culture into classrooms as a way of transgressing the historically divergent borders between lived experiences and the formal educational system. He has trained teachers for the greater part of a decade, working with them to incorporate innovative methods for teaching students from all backgrounds and particularly from minority groups. Drawing from the four elements of Hip-Hop culture—djing, mc-ing/rapping, breakdancing/bboying, and graffiti art—Dr. Peterson conceived “The Fifth Element of Hip-Hop” where he argues that knowledge is an additional element.
Regularly appearing on MSNBC’s The Ed Show and The Martin Bashir Show, as well as Al Jazeera English and NPR with Marty Moss Coane, Dr. Peterson aptly utilizes his incredible breadth of knowledge to tackle everything from politics to race relations, cultural debates about the greater social implication of entertainers like Beyoncé, and the integration.

by Uncle Bravo



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