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WATCH: Pop Con 2020 Presents - Deconstructing Little Richard

Little Richard

The Museum of Pop Culture's annual Pop Conference, first held in 2002, mixes together ambitious music discourse of every kind to bring academics, critics, musicians, and dedicated fans into a collective conversation. Pop Con 2020 is being reimagined as an online conference to be held in September 2020 (exact dates and times to be announced). Leading up to the virtual event this fall MoPOP will host a series of teaser events. The third teaser event, Deconstructing Little Richard, took place on Thursday, July 16 in conjunction with The Apollo Theater Education Program.

Little Richard, who passed away in May, helped pioneer rock music in the 1950s, riding high on gospel-influenced musicianship and black queer fabulosity. Throughout his seven-decade career, he confronted industry exploitation and racism, and he transformed gender expression in popular culture. A panel of musicians, scholars, DJs and writers discuss the self-appointed originator, emancipator, and architect of rock ‘n roll.


Ian Isiah, recording artist

Nona Hendryx, singer, songwriter, producer

Alisha Lola Jones, assistant professor, Indiana University Bloomington

Jason King, professor, musician, New York University

Uri McMillan, associate professor, UCLA

Madison Moore, artist-scholar, assistant professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

Tavia Nyong’o, professor, Yale University

Zandria Robinson, associate professor, Georgetown University

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About the author

The Museum of Pop Culture’s mission is to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities.