Current VPA News
Harry Allen

Hip-hop activist Harry Allen (a.k.a. “the Media Assassin”) will visit the Syracuse University campus March 22-23 and present two lectures.

Allen will deliver the Bandier Program's Soyars Leadership Lecture on Tuesday, March 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Marvin and Helaine Lender Auditorium (Room 007) in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. The lecture is free and open to the University community. For more information contact David Rezak, director of the Bandier Program, at 315-443-3280 or

On Wednesday, March 23, Allen will present “Shooting the Enemy: My Life in Pictures with the People Who Became P.E. (Public Enemy)” from 7-8:30 p.m. in Watson Theater. Theo Cateforis, associate professor of music history and cultures, as well as chair of the Department of Art & Music Histories in the College of Arts and Sciences, will moderate the program, covering Allen’s involvement with one of the most critically acclaimed hip-hop acts of all time.

The March 23 lecture is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the Departments of Art & Music Histories and African American Studies, as well as the Humanities Center; the Student Association’s Co-Curricular Fee Fund; and the Bandier Program. For more information, contact the Humanities Center, which is based in the College of Arts and Sciences, at 315-443-7192 or visit

Allen, whose lectures are part of a two-day residency at Syracuse, is a legendary social activist, journalist, D.J. and photographer. In addition to publishing his own blog, he writes about race, politics and culture for VIBE and The Source magazines, The Village Voice and other national publications.

Most people know Allen for his long-time association with Public Enemy, the Long Island band whose politically charged brand of hip-hop shot to the top of the charts in 1980s and ’90s. It's Allen who has a “cameo” on the band’s 1988 single “Don’t Believe the Hype” and in the 1991 documentary “Tour of a Black Planet.”

A gifted scholar, Allen is producer and host of “Nonfiction,” a weekly magazine of contemporary arts and issues on WBAI-FM in New York City, and serves as an advisor to the Archives of African American Music and Culture at Indiana University. He also has worked as a public relations consultant, specifically in the area of crisis communication, for Rockstar Games. Allen is currently writing a book about architectural design in computer and video games.