Dr. Msia Kibona Clark is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of African Studies at Howard University.

She is originally from Tanzania and grew up in the U.S. (Euclid, Ohio). She received her BA in Political Science from Johnson C. Smith University, MA in International Studies from American University, and a PhD in African Studies from Howard University.

A professor of cultural & feminist studies, her work focuses on representations of Pan Africanism, African feminism, and African/Diaspora identities in popular culture. Her work examines hip-hop in Africa’s importance as social commentary, especially around Pan Africanism and African feminist thought. Her work also explores how Black mobilization is shifting African and Diaspora identities, and impacting Black activism. Her scholarship includes numerous articles and books, including the texts Hip-Hop in Africa: Prophets of the City & Dustyfoot Philosophers, and Pan African Spaces: Essays on Black Transnationalism.

A Tanzanian feminist activist and scholar, her work also explores African feminism’s role in cyberfeminist spaces. Her forthcoming African Women in Digital Spaces: Redefining Social Movements on the Continent and in the Diaspora is a collection of poetry, essays, & scholarship on African feminist conversions around race, gender, and sexuality, co-edited with Ghanaian feminist activist and scholar Dr. Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed .

Msia was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Dar es Salaam (2013/14) in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for the Diaspora Community of Tanzanians in America (DICOTA), and sits on the Editorial Board of the journals, Global Hip Hop Studies and the Journal of African Cultural Studies. She is also a member of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and the African Studies Association in Africa, and is an executive board member and past president of the Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists.




Students participating in a graffiti workshop at Words Beats & Life


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Kibona Clark, Msia, and Mohammed, Wunpini Fatimata (Eds). (Forthcoming). African Women in Digital Spaces: Redefining Social Movements on the Continent and in the Diaspora. Mkuki na Nyota Publishers.

Plummer, Anita and Clark, Msia Kibona (Eds). (2020). Introduction to Contemporary Africa. Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Clark, Msia Kibona (2018). Hip-Hop in Africa: Prophets of the City & Dustyfoot Philosophers. Ohio University Press.

Clark, Msia Kibona, Phiwokuhle Mnyandu, & Loy Azalia (Eds). (2018). Pan African Spaces: Essays on Black Transnationalism. Lexington Press

Clark, Msia Kibona and Koster, Mickie Mwanzia (Eds). (2014). Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press.

Special Journal Issues

Clark, Msia Kibona and Erie, Jennifer (Eds). (Forthcoming). Issue: Hip hop in South Africa. Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture.

Clark, Msia Kibona (Ed) (2013). Issue: Hip Hop in Africa. Journal of Pan African Studies.

Select Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Clark, Msia Kibona (2019). Hip-Hop and human rights in Africa. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. https://www.georgetownjournalofinternationalaffairs.org/online-edition/2019/2/4/hip-hop-and-human-rights-in-africa

Clark, Msia Kibona (2018). Feminisms in African hip hop. Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, 17 (2), 383-400.

Clark, Msia Kibona (2014). The role of new and social media in Tanzanian hip hop production. Les Cahiers d’Etudes Africaines, 216 (4), 1115-1136.

Clark, Msia Kibona (2012). Hip hop as social commentary in Accra and Dar es Salaam. African Studies Quarterly, 13 (3), 23 – 36. http://asq.africa.ufl.edu/files/Clark-V13Is3.pdf.

Select Book Chapters

Kibona Clark, Msia & Nikoi, Nii Kotei (Forthcoming). The Politics of Representation: Gender in African Popular Music. Oxford Handbook of Global Popular Music. Oxford University Press.

Kibona Clark, Msia (2020) African Women Hip-Hop Artists Representing Transnational Identities: Y3 Fr3 Me Rebel. In: Yacob-Haliso O., Falola T. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of African Women’s Studies. Palgrave Macmillan.

Clark, Msia Kibona (2019). The contemporary African Diaspora. In M. Azevedo (Ed), Africana Studies: A Survey of Africa and the African Diaspora (263 – 289). Durham: Carolina Academic Press.

Clark, M.K. (2018). The evolution of a bicultural identity, in the shadows of Nyerere’s Pan Africanism. In M.K. Clark, P. Mnyandu, L. Azalia (Eds), Pan African Spaces: Essays on Black Transnationalism. Lexington Press.

Clark, Msia Kibona (2014). Gendered representations among Tanzanian female emcees. In M.K. Clark and M. Koster (Eds), Ni Wakati: Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press.

Clark, Msia Kibona (2012). Identity formation and integration among bicultural immigrant Blacks. In J. A. Arthur, J. Takougang and T. Owusu (Eds.), Africans in Global Migration: Searching for Promised Lands (pp. 45 – 66). Lanham, MD: Lexington Press.

Select Book Reviews & Encyclopedia Entries

Clark, Msia Kibona (2018). Beef. In T. Riggs (Ed), St. James Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Culture (pp. 38-42). Farmington Hills, MI: St. James Press.

Clark, Msia Kibona (2014). Review of the book Living the Hiplife: Celebrity and Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Popular Music by Jesse Weaver Shipley. African Studies Quarterly.

Clark, Msia Kibona (2013). Review of the book Hip Hop Africa: New African Music in a Globalizing World, by Eric Charry (Ed). African Studies Quarterly.


Maganga, Leticia Kulwa and Al-Sheibani, Junayna. (December 2020). Clark, Msia Kibona and Kagumire, Rosebell (editors). Consent as a Necessary Cultural Virtue in Tanzania. African Feminism. https://africanfeminism.com/consent-as-a-necessary-cultural-virtue-in-tanzania/

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Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa (created, undergraduate): This is a course I created at Howard University in 2015. In 2018, we began to offer the course as a joint offering with the Institute of African Studies at George Washington University. 

Black Women & Popular Culture (created, undergraduate): This course is an examination of the representations of Black (African and African American) women that have dominated popular culture. The course looks at the history of those representations, especially in systems of colonialism and enslavement. These representations have fed tropes about Black women, tropes that have reinforced patriarchal structures, silence around violence against Black women, and domestic policies that negatively impact Black women’s lives. The course also looks at how Black women are creating content to challenge those familiar tropes. The course considers how women create their own representations, which create spaces within patriarchal environments for women to exercise their agency and create counter narratives.

Students in Social Media & Political Change read Feminista Jones’ Reclaiming Our Space

Social Media and Political Change in Africa & the U.S. (undergraduate): In this course students, examine social movements that center around Black lives in both Africa and the United States, through the lens of social media. Students learn how social media and “hashtag activism” has been used by Black activists in Africa and the United States to carry out historic movements for change. These political and revolutionary movements in Africa and the United States are globally connected. This course serves to link the diverse cultural experiences, histories, and perspectives by highlighting the role of social media as a common thread in social movements happening globally, especially movements for Black lives in both Africa and the United States. The course also engaged students in the methods of social and political organizing. Students learn the process of harnessing social media as sites for social and political organizing.

Graduate students in Pan Africanism Past & Present

Pan Africanism Past & Present (graduate): The course examines Pan-Africanism as a cultural and political movement. The course focuses on the height of Pan Africanism on the African continent in the 1950s and 1960s, looking at the classic works by influential Pan Africanist scholars. The course also looks at the legacy of early Pan African struggles and how they have impacted contemporary politics on the continent, as well as the relationship between the continent and its Diaspora.

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Talks & Presentations


August 2020. Panelist on Grounding with My Siblings: Hip Hop and Decolonial Engagement after Black Lives Matter hosted by Center for Hip Hop Engagement via Zoom.

October 2019. The Politics of Language in African Hip Hop. Paper presented at the African Studies Association of Africa conference at the United States International University-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.

June 2019. Today at Apple: Hip Hop and Representation. StoryMakers Festival. Apple Carnegie Library in Washington, DC

March 2019. Pan African Feminist Spaces in Hip Hop. Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC

February 2019. Hip Hop in Africa Book Talk. Stony Brook University, in Stony Brook, NY

February 2019. Eye On Africa Lecture Series: Gender, Sexuality, and Hip Hop in Africa. Michigan State University in Lansing, MI

December 2018. Plenary Speaker. The Youth, Transformation and African Futures during the Revisiting the 1958 All-African Peoples’ Conference at the University of Ghana Legon.

November 2018. Songs & Hashtags: Language, Identity, and Protest in Tanzania. Georgetown University.

October 2018. A Curtis Wilson Lecture: Hip Hop in Africa: Prophets of the City and Dustyfoot Philosophers. Cleveland State University in Cleveland, OH

July 2018. Panelist on African Fashion and Film: A Look at the Current and Future State of African Fashion at the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC

May 2018. Hip Hop in Africa. Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC

October 2017. The Politics of Respectability: Black Women in Popular Culture. Paper presented at the African Studies Association of Africa conference in Accra, Ghana.

May 2017. Researching and Teaching African Politics: Everyday Politics, Power, and Protest in the Digital Age. Smith College, Northampton, MA

September 2016. Representations of African Feminism in Hip Hop. Guest panelist at the African Feminist Initiative at Penn State University in College Park, PA

May 2016. Women in Leadership – The Underutilized Catalyst. Guest panelist at the annual meeting of the Diaspora Community of Tanzanians in America (DICOTA) in Dallas, TX.

April 2016. Hip Hop Activism-Changing the World, One Beat at a Time. Guest panelist at the Annual General Meeting of Amnesty International USA in Miami, FL.

June 2015. Afropolitan Identities: Representations of African immigrant experiences in African hip hop. Paper presented at the General Assembly for the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) in Dakar, Senegal.

July 2014. The Role of Social and New Media in Tanzanian Hip Hop Production and Dissemination. Paper presented at the annual Ethnomusicology Symposium at the University of Dar es Salaam in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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The Hip Hop African Blog & Podcast

This is an initiative that initially began as an in class assignment for students in the Hip Hop in Africa course. The course is a joint course taught with students at Howard University and George Washington University, taking the course together. Students must come together in groups of two or three and select a research topic related to the course. Students are also allowed to do the project individually. After completing their research, students must then record a 15 minute audio podcast.

The idea to use a publicly accessible blog as the platform that students used to engage in the research was based on a desire to cultivate an archive of information that anyone could access. It also was another platform for artists to be exposed to different audiences. Students were tasked with finding and reviewing articles, films, and artists. Thus far students have written more than 1,000 blog posts, all of which is organized by country, tagged with the names of artists featured, and categorized by theme.

The website has since gone from averaging 6,000 views in 2014, to 27,000 in 2016, and almost 88,000 in 2018. Our visitors primarily come from the U.S. and South Africa. We also receive a large number of visitors from the European Union, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, & the UK.

The blog and the podcast were launched with the goal of taking a scholarly approach to conversations around hip hop in Africa.  On iTunes, we are ranked among the top five podcasts dealing with similar themes, specifically, African hip hop podcasts and African Studies podcasts.

The podcast has featured interviews with artists like Blitz the Ambassador (Ghana/US), M.anifest (Ghana), Modenine (Nigeria/UK), Thiat of Keur Gui (Senegal), and Yugen Blakrok (South Africa).

The Hip Hop African Blog and the Podcast are hosted at hiphopafrican.com. The Hip Hop African Podcast is also on iTunesSpotifyStitcherGoogle Play, & other podcast platforms.