UGA law school hosts book discussion on Dennis' Rap on Trial


Athens, Ga. - The University of Georgia School of Law will host a discussion of the recently published book Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics and Guilt in America, which was co-authored by Andrea L. Dennis, the holder of the law school's John Byrd Martin Chair of Law. The discussion will be held Jan. 30 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Larry Walker Room of Dean Rusk Hall on UGA's North Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Published by The New Press, Rap on Trial examines the use of "rap lyrics as criminal evidence to convict and incarcerate young men of color" based on hundreds of court cases from across the country.

Many rappers and hip-hop artists who create and perform "gritty, often violent lyrics," resulting in large sales and followings, say they are playing to market demands and that their songs are not necessarily reflective of "their thoughts, intentions or actions." But police, prosecutors and judges often automatically treat rap lyrics as true to life evidence, according to Dennis. "The work of other creators - such as musicians in other genres, crime novelists, radical poets and horror film screenwriters - is not seen as a reflection of their real lives, contrary to what is happening with rap artists," she said.

Described as a path-breaking book, Rap on Trial explores the breadth of rap lyrics being used in criminal prosecutions and the problems raised by the practice, and proposes solutions to achieve meaningful change.

Speakers will include Dennis and Dr. Bettina L. Love with UGA's College of Education.


Writer/Contact: Heidi M. Murphy, 706-583-5487, hmurphy@uga.edu

UGA School of Law
Recognized as the best value in legal education in back-to-back years, the School of Law is also consistently regarded as one of the top law schools in the nation. Since 1859, the school has been preparing the next generation of legal leaders. It currently offers three degrees - the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law. The school's accomplished faculty includes nationally and internationally renowned scholars, and its more than 10,500 living graduates are leading figures in law, business and public service throughout the world. Connecting students to these thought leaders and opportunities to serve state and society is central to the school's mission. For more information, see www.law.uga.edu.