Dr. Aaron X. Smith was raised in Montclair NJ, he holds a BA in Asian Studies, an MA in Liberal Arts, an MA in African American Studies and a PhD in African American Studies (all from Temple University). Smith is an Assistant Professor of Instruction at Temple University in the Department of Africology and African American Studies.
He is the author of “The Murder of Octavius Catto” (Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia 2015), and a number of articles and other writings. In 2015 he received the Dr. Molefi Kete Asante Award for academic excellence and innovation in the field of African American Studies. He teaches in the Department of Africology and African American Studies and will continue his research for a new book offering a contemporary analysis and application of the Afrocentric Paradigm codified by Dr. Ama Mazama.
Dr. Smith and Rev. Smith are the founders of Speak Light, LLC, an inspirational and intellectual speaking company. Their platform is to share a message of our history, and hope for what is to come. Speak Light’s aim is to inform, enlighten and influence the next generation to explore their endless possibilities and potential. With “The Rapping Professor’s” charismatic contemporary presentation and “Vitra the Preacha’s” passionate preaching they pray that God will continue to use them to change lives across the globe.
Smith is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated and Herbert E. Millen Lodge #151. Dr. Smith is committed to empowerment through education and an end to systematic racism.
I recently had the chance to interview Dr. Aaron X. Smith. Check out the interview below:
Can you please tell myself and the reader’s about yourself?
I am from Montclair New Jersey. I ran track for Temple University and worked in Radio for about eight years and all of my degrees are from Temple. I am the Rapping Professor.
Growing up and still to this day who or what are your inspirations?
Malcolm X, Ida B. Wells, 2 Pac, Nas, Wise Intelligent, Slick Rick, AZ, Jay-Z, Lauryn Hill, Meek Mill, KRS and Chuck D.
At what age did you know that you were going to be a educator?
I never knew. I am realizing the purpose driven life more everyday; it’s my calling.
When did the thought of rapping in your lessons come about?
One day when the energy in the class just didn’t feel right.
After the first attempt, what made you incorporate the idea of combining rapping into your classes?
The enthusiastic viral response from students and other viewers.
Do you think your raps get into the minds of these generational scholars?
Do you find it easier to educate and relate to your students through rap?
This is the only language that they all speak and resonate readily with.
With hip-hop being such a phenomenon, do you believe your creation of the rapping professor teaching style will become a trend?
This more relevant, informative and inspirational style is undoubtedly the wave of the future.
Any words of advice or wisdom you can give to the millennial?
Don’t let the haters fool you, let your haters fuel you!
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