by E. Parker
Nasir Jones was honored with the W.E.B. DuBois Medal during a ceremony at Harvard University on Wednesday (Sept. 30), two years after a fellowship was named in his honor.
In a ceremony that included Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Nas received an award to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to African and African-American history and culture, human rights and intercultural understanding.
“Historic night for the rap game,” Nas said with an Instagram post. “At the Hutchins Center Honors for the W. E. B. Du Bois Medal ceremony. This is a first for the Rap Game to receive this award but, definitely not the last. Thank you.”
Other 2015 recipients include Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund; Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments and chairman of the board of Ariel Investment Trust; Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the first black woman to enroll in the University of Georgia; and artist Carrie Mae Weems.
In 2013, Harvard’s Hiphop Archive & Research Institute announced the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellowship established to “seek projects from scholars and artists that build on the rich and complex hiphop tradition; to respect that tradition through historically grounded and contextualized critical insights; and most importantly, to represent one’s creative and/or intellectually rigorous contribution to hiphop and the discourse through personal and academic projects.”