Humanz of Hip Hop: U of T's Hart House creates hip hop-focused 'human library'

Some people are open books. 

The expression is particularly apt to describe the spoken word artist, entrepreneur, music video director, scholar, filmmaker and others who participated in Hart House's Humanz of Hip Hop events on the University of Toronto’s St. George and Scarborough campuses. 

For one day on each campus, experts in the field – including film director Director X, who has worked with giants of the genre such as Drake and Kanye West – opened themselves up to students, staff and the public in a specially curated “human library.”

The participants could be checked out, like books, for 25 minutes of one-on-one time to share their story of hip hop's impact on their life and society. 

“Hip hop in general is really about self-empowerment, self-knowledge and expression, and through that I think you learn to have a voice for yourself, be proud of yourself,” said Jessica Rayne, a program associate at Hart House.

“It’s really a chance to give students an opportunity to connect with people in the community and [for] the community to exchange their knowledge – building that bridge from the institution to the community and vice versa.”



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