Joan Morgan is an award-winning journalist, author, and a provocative cultural critic. She began her career in journalism as a freelance writer for The Village Voice. The response to her first article, “The Pro-Rape Culture” about the Central Park jogger, “established Morgan’s reputation as a black-feminist writer who was unafraid of tacking the most highly charged topics.” A few years later, Morgan won an Excellence Merit Media Award from the National Woman’s Political Caucus for her coverage of the rape trial of Mike Tyson. Morgan went on to become an Executive Editor of Essence Magazine, and has written for Spin, Vibe, and GIANT.
Morgan is especially known for her work in the field of “hip-hop feminism,” a term she coined in her 1999 book, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost. She has appeared on MTV, BET, VH-1, and CNN to speak about the intersection of hip-hop and gender, and conducted a 12-city tour titled “Does Hip-Hop Hate Women,” which brought national attention to the growing misogyny, sexism and homophobia in hip-hop culture. Through her writing and appearances Morgan has established herself as “one of the most original, perceptive and engaging young social commentators in America today.
Joan Morgan was born in Jamaica and raised in the South Bronx. A graduate of Wesleyan University, she has taught at the New School, Duke University, and Vanderbilt University and is currently pursuing her Ph. D in American Studies at NYU. Morgan recently taught a course entitled “The Pleasure Principle: A Post-Hip Hop Search for a Black Feminist Politics of Pleasure” at Stanford Univerity.