March 17, 2021

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm, Eastern Time

ACS Georgia and Athens: Rap on Trial: Criminalizing Black Culture

Over the last three decades, as rap became increasingly popular, prosecutors saw an opportunity: they could present the sometimes violent, crime-laden lyrics of amateur rappers as confessions to crimes, threats of violence, evidence of gang affiliation, or revelations of criminal motive—and judges and juries would go along with it. Now, an alarming number of aspiring rappers are imprisoned. No other form of creative expression is treated this way in the courts.

Join the ACS Athens and Georgia Lawyer Chapters, the University of Georgia School of Law Student Chapter, the First Amendment Clinic at the University of Georgia School of Law, and ATHfactor-Liberty Entertainment-ALE for a discussion that will address this issue from the perspectives of scholarship, advocacy, art and public policy.

Welcome and Reform Update

Deborah Gonzalez, District Attorney, Western Judicial Circuit

This panel will feature:

Andrea L. Dennis, Associate Dean for Faculty Development & John Byrd Martin Chair of Law, University of Georgia School of Law; Author, Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics and Guilt in America

Montu Miller, Founder, ATHFactor-Liberty Entertainment-ALE and activist

Mariah Parker, Commissioner, Athens-Clarke County Commission and hip hop artist (Linqua Franqa)

Moderated by:

Samantha Chariz Hamilton, Clinic Fellow, University of Georgia School of Law First Amendment Clinic