Ghana

Hip-Hop, Resilience & Black Struggle

Understand how young Africans use hip-hop to question traditional representations of Africa, imagine Africa's future, and raise consciousness about globalization and (in)equality.

At a Glance

Credits

6

Prerequisites

None

Courses taught in

English

Dates

Jun 5 – Jul 17

Program Countries

Ghana

Program Base

Accra

Critical Global Issue of Study

Identity & Human Resilience

Identity & Human Resilience Icon

Overview

Why study hip-hop in West Africa?

Hip-hop artists in West Africa are challenging Eurocentric understandings of the world and redefining Africa from a decolonial perspective. In Ghana, one of the most innovative countries in Africa, you will engage with hip-hop artists, activists, and influencers to learn how they critique traditional understandings of Africa and African-descended peoples, imagine African futures, and raise consciousness about globalization and (in)equalities. You will have the chance to study, engage, and perform with international hip-hop artists and activists based in Ghana such as Kojo Cue, Wiyaala, Cina Soul, M.anifest, Wanluv, Angel Maxine, Worlasi, and Koo Nimo.

Highlights

  • Explore hip-hop as a philosophical, political, and economic force in Africa. 
  • Attend workshops led by major hip-hop artists like M.anifest, Wanluv, Kojo Cue, and Cina Soul.
  • Learn how contemporary African youth shape, and are shaped by, globalization, and study with Ghanaian students. 
  • Spend two weeks traveling around Ghana and experience life in different parts of the country. 

Prerequisites

None.

Excursions

KUMASI: FROM PALM WINE HIGHLIFE TO KUMERICA

You will visit Kumasi, which is the capital of the Ashanti Region and home to the Kenté cloth as well as Kejetia, the biggest market in West Africa. The King of the Asante resides in the Manhyia Palace and presides over a rich history of Asante resilience to colonial powers. Kumasi is also known for its traditional palm wine highlife scene and a more recent Kumerica phenomenon, which young people use to express their engagement with local and international themes of interests.

CAPE COAST: FORGING THE FUTURE THROUGH THE PAST

Cape Coast is the first capital of Ghana and is in the vicinity of two of the oldest sites of the transatlantic slave trade: Elmina Castle (established in 1482) and Cape Coast Castle (set up in 1653). As one of the first places of contact with European travelers, Cape Coast is infused with Portuguese, British, Swedish, and Dutch cultural elements. Cape Coast is also known for its university and high schools, beaches, vibrant fishing culture, and the Kakum Rainforest, which has some of the world’s rarest butterfly species.

TAMALE: THE HEART OF THE NORTH

Tamale is the biggest city in the north of Ghana, where Islamic practices flourish due to cultural influence from north of the Sahara. Tamale hosts multiple international NGOs and is also noted for community-based entrepreneurship. Tamale has a savanna climate and is near the biggest wildlife preserve in Ghana, Mole National Park, home to elephants, hyenas, leopards, and warthogs.

TAKORADI: A PORT TO THE WORLD

As a port city, Takoradi has an incredible cosmopolitan vibe, with sailors, businesspeople, and travelers often making stops. Takoradi has also become an important regional economic hub due to the discovery of oil in commercial quantities. Takoradi has some of Ghana’s finest beaches, is known for its annual street carnival, and is near Nzulezo, one of the few places in Africa where people live on water.

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.

Academics

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Develop a decolonial narrative on the place of Africa and African descended cultures and peoples in the global scene.
  • Critique the archeology of the concept of Africa and the African diaspora from social, political, and economic perspectives.
  • Explain the contributions of hip-hop music to the resilience and Black struggles of social movements in Ghana.
  • Propose innovative solutions to challenges that exist in the African creative arts industry.
  • Apply knowledge acquired on the program to design a creative or research project on Ghanaian hip-hop culture.

Read more about Program Learning Outcomes.



Coursework

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.


Key Topics

  • Hip-hop as an African philosophy
  • Decolonial approaches to education and literacy
  • Urban cultures and sustainable development
  • The pervasive nature of coloniality in Black communities globally
  • Complexity of African-descended cultures and their pluriversality
  • What shapes diasporic identities and communities outside of Africa

African Urban Hip-Hop, Diaspora, and Decolonial Futures

African Urban Hip-Hop, Diaspora, and Decolonial Futures – syllabus
AFRS
3000 / 3 credits 

This course provides students with the intellectual toolkit necessary for critiquing the relationship between African creative expression and sociopolitical experiences that span transnational contexts. Through an experiential engagement with urban cultures that constantly engage the limits of coloniality, global capitalism, and local political realities, this course will particularly focus on the ways in which African urban hip-hop functions as decolonial pedagogical praxes and counter-hegemonic movements against cultural and economic imperialism in the global African diaspora, in general, and in the U.S. and Ghana in particular. We will explore how observed practices in host families, entertainment venues, places of worship, artist workshops, markets, political spheres, etc., expose the way discourses on “Africa” have participated in our own conceptions of, and relation with, the continent, and how engaging these discourses and practices, in light of our experiences, can prepare us to not only reconceptualize the pluriversality of the continent but also re-imagine African descended peoples’ futures in decolonial terms. 

Hip-Hop, Resilience, and Black Struggles Research Project

Hip-Hop, Resilience, and Black Struggles Research Project – syllabus
AFRS3500 / 3 credits

The Hip-hop, Resilience, and Black StruggleResearch Project provides room for students to undertake a research-based project that extends a concept or idea formed and developed throughout the course of the program. The idea will be connected to creative expression in any context of the student’s choice and will involve working on a set of research questions that revolve around a research objective. This objective will in turn be informed by an issue that connects with the evolution of a music genre, connections between different types of creative expression, an artistic concern, or a thematic issue. 

Homestays

ACCRA

You will live with a host family in Accra and experience the daily flow of life. Your homestay is a powerful immersive learning experience during which you will explore dynamics such as family structure, gender roles, food customs, household chores, concepts of space and belonging, and education of children. You will have a front-row seat to celebrations and other events. You will gain confidence practicing Asante-Twi with your host family and, through the connection of language, get to know your host family on a deeper level. 

Your homestay family will live in the West Legon, North Legon, Madina, or Adenta residential areas, typically within 30-minutes walking distance to the SIT program center in the bustling Accra suburb of North Legon, also known as Haatso. The area, strategically located near a number of universities, has become a hub for middle-class families.  

OTHER ACCOMMODATIONS

During excursions, students will stay in hostels, guesthouses, and modest hotels. 

Faculty & Staff

Ghana: Hip-Hop, Resilience & Black Struggle

Kwabena Opoku-Agyemang, PhD
Academic Director
Thelma Ohene-Agyei, PhD
Academic/Homestay Coordinator
Kwasi Amankwah Bonsu
Program Coordinator
Esther Priscilla Dominic
Office Manager
Reginald Acheisu Boateng
Security Officer and Program Assistant

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & Scholarships

    SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.

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