Press Release


February 24 "Know More" event at Englewood Public Library sponsored by the

Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council

CHICAGO- Authors Natalie Hopkinson and Natalie Moore will discuss their new book, Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation, on Saturday, February 24th from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at the West Englewood Library, 1745 W. 63rd Street. Part of the "Know More: Conversations That Matter" series, this event is sponsored by the Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) and is made possible by a grant from The Joyce Foundation.

Reservations are required for this event. Please call 312.422.5580 to reserve your space now. The Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago and the Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago are co-sponsors for this event.

At this event, journalists Natalie Hopkinson and Natalie Moore will explore various expressions of Black male masculinity in the hip-hop generation through the figure of "Tyrone" from Erykah Badu’s 1997 hit song. For the authors, "Tyrone" represents Black men as they are seen in the media, through stereotypes, as well as from the perspective of Black women. In eleven chapters, Moore and Hopkinson discuss subjects like Etan Thomas, an NBA basketball player and political poet; Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick known as the "Hip-Hop Mayor;" the complicated relationship between women and hip-hop culture; and gay Black men on the so-called "down low."

Through rich insights into a diverse range of perspectives and experiences, Moore and Hopkinson complicate dominant images of Black men as violent and hypersexualized and open up the complex topic of Black male masculinity for a lively public discussion.

Natalie Y. Moore is a freelance journalist who has worked for Pioneer Press, the Detroit News, and the Associated Press. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Reporter, Bitch Magazine, Black Enterprise, and In These Times. She is a graduate of Howard

University, has a Master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and is an adjunct instructor of media studies at Columbia College.

A graduate of Howard University, Natalie Hopkinson is a staff writer at the Washington Post and a Scripps Howard doctoral fellow at the University of Maryland, where she is also a visiting professor of journalism.

Copies of Deconstructing Tyrone will be available for purchase at the event. Here’s what people are saying about the Deconstructing Tyrone:

  • These first-time authors created a witty examination of racial and gender issues that draws heavily from personal experiences but also is grounded by research and interviews with men and women who both embody

    and confound the stereotypes. — Chicago Sun-Times
  • Kudos to these two sisters for presenting us in a true light. — Radio personality Tom Joyner
  • Breaks down the myths surrounding black masculinity in a way that inspires hope and points the way toward change. — Gwendolyn D. Pough, author of Check It While I Wreck It: Black Womanhood, Hip-Hop Culture and the Public Sphere

The "Know More: Conversations that Matter" series is designed to bridge the gap between the arts and social issues that are of current concern to Chicago’s Englewood community. Programming has included visits from hip hop artists, activists, and scholars Jeff Chang, David Stovall, and Lavie Raven; Africana Studies scholar William Santiago Valles; performer Will Power; and poet Elizabeth Alexander.

For a full calendar of Public Square at the IHC events or for more information, please visit or contact the Public Square at the IHC at 312.422.5580 or via email at

Founded in 2000, The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) has carved out a unique place in the cultural life of Chicago through innovative programming that fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social, and political issues with an emphasis on social justice. All Public Square at the IHC’s programs promote participatory democracy by creating space for public conversations. The Public Square was adopted by the Illinois Humanities Council on December 1, 2004.


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