Grammy nominated Hip-Hop artist Nas has made rap history and added another accolade to his list by receiving the W.E.B DuBois Medal this week along with Muhammad Ali, Eric Holder (former U.S. Attorney General), and more.
Nas received the award on September 30th, 2015 and is the first rapper to receive this award, which is the highest honor at the school for its field of African and African American Studies program.
The award was established in 2000 and recognizes individuals in the United States and across the globe for their contributions to African-American culture and the life of the mind. This is not Nas' first relationship with Harvard.
Two years ago Harvard established the Nasir Jones Fellowship. The Nasir Jones Fellowship funds scholars and artists who demonstrate exceptional productive scholarship and exceptional creative ability in the arts in connection with Hip-Hop. Nas took to the stage to share his thoughts and how he feels about receiving the awards.
“These are the things the kids need to see. The real things,” Nas stated. “This is a light I want on me. I hope that I can be a great role model for those kids…you can be more than the typical image of rap.”
Harvard also honored Marian Wright Edelman (founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund), Mellody Hobson (President of Ariel Investments), Carrie Mae Weems (Photographer and Artist), and Charlayne Hunter-Gault (Civil Rights Pioneer and Journalist).