"Check Yourself: Hip-Hop, Masculinity and Challenging Assumptions"
A Conversation with Byron Hurt
Award-winning documentary filmmaker Byron Hurt comes to Amherst to speak about hip-hop, popular culture, masculinity and challenging our assumptions.
This event is sponsored by the Peer Advocates of Sexual Respect, Sexual Respect Education, the Multicultural Resource Center, the Women's and Gender Center and the Queer Resource Center.
Byron Hurt is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, published writer, anti-sexist activist and lecturer. For more than 20 years, Hurt has been using his craft, his voice and his writings to broaden and deepen how people think about gender violence, race, music, visual media and food justice. As an activist, Byron has served as a gender violence prevention educator. The former Northeastern University football quarterback was also a founding member of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, the leading college-based rape and domestic violence prevention initiative for college and professional athletics. Hurt also served as an associate director of the first gender violence prevention program in the United States Marine Corps.
Hurt began his professional film career with "I Am A Man: Black Masculinity in America." His second feature-length film, "Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes" premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and was later broadcast nationally on the Emmy-Award-winning PBS series "Independent Lens." In 2008, Hurt released "If Five-0 Shoots" and "Barack & Curtis." Both were critically acclaimed, and the latter exploded in the blogosphere as a part of the Masculinity Project, further cementing Hurt as an important documentary filmmaker.
Hurt has been featured in various media publications, ranging from "The New York Times" to "O, The Oprah Magazine." Byron's latest film, "Soul Food Junkies," is critically acclaimed and won the CNN Best Documentary award at the American Black Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City. The film made its national television premiere on "Independent Lens" in January 2013, drawing an audience of more than 1.5 million viewers.
Hurt is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. His next film, "Hazing: How Badly Do You Want In?" is projected for release in 2015.