Jeff Chang Wins North Star News Prize

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Journalist/author Jeff Chang (pictured with me above at University of Michigan) has just been announced as a recipient of the North Star News Prize. Given by a fund that’s named after the newspaper that author/abolitionist/reformer Frederick Douglass founded in 1847, the award is given to “journalists, media-makers and communications professionals of color who have made a significant contribution to the public’s understanding of the struggle for social justice.”

Chang has been doing his thing for a while, now. You can read his entire bio HERE, but he earned his reputation through contributions to magazines like URB and VIBE (he did the Barack Obama interview in the latter magazine last year), being a co-founding editor of ColorLines magazine, and working as a Senior Editor/Director for Russell Simmons’ 360HipHop.com. His magnum opus (so far, anyway) is Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, the critically-acclaimed book that tells the story of the hip-hop generation. What I loved about the book is the way that it didn’t just describe different musical releases and their influence: but it contextualized hip-hop in the bigger picture of American history, while still managing to tell the story from the perspective of minorities who were actually there. I haven’t gotten to check out his most recently-edited book, Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, but I’d imagine that that book – along with his upcoming Who We Be: The Colorization of America, will efficiently do the same. This is what I’m hoping that I’ll be able to accomplish, whether it’s through my current project or any of them in the future.

Jeff Chang has been particularly helpful and inspiring to me as a writer, so I wanted to take this opportunity to thank him for everything and to congratulate him on this and to his future success.

For more on Jeff Chang, check out his WEB SITE and his BLOG.
For more on the North Star Fund, CLICK HERE.