Kentucky State University will honor its rich history, legacy and achievements Thursday, Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. in the Carl H. Smith Auditorium in David H. Bradford Hall. The 2018 Heritage Assembly provides the Kentucky State University family and the Commonwealth of Kentucky an opportunity for enrichment and diversity in the areas of academics, access, agriculture and athletics. 

At the onset of Kentucky State University’s President M. Christopher Brown II presidency, students expressed confusion regarding weekly convocations and concern regarding the selection of speakers for those convocations.

According to President Brown, MC Lyte, the guest speaker of the 2018 Heritage Assembly, was chosen because of her ability to connect with students.

“In her youthful disposition, MC Lyte brings a wealth of experience and knowledge as the first solo female rapper to release a full album with her 1988 critically acclaimed album Lyte as a Rock,” President Brown said with enthusiasm.

Considered by many as one of hip-hop’s pioneer feminists, MC Lyte is one of the first rappers ever to perform at New York’s historic Carnegie Hall and the first female rapper to ever receive a gold single. She is also the first female solo rapper to be nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rap Single category.

The Brooklyn native has also added actress, business woman and motivational speaker to her repertoire.

During the Heritage Assembly, the institution will honor individuals and organizations with the 2018 Heritage Awards for their hard work and dedication to advancing the mission and goals of Kentucky State.

Dr. Lee Charles Harris will receive the Academic Heritage Award, granted to an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to the academic heritage of Kentucky State. Harris has demonstrated excellence in academic programs.

Community Missionary Baptist Church in Louisville will receive the Access Heritage Award, granted to an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to the equal educational opportunity and institutional access heritage of Kentucky State.  Community Missionary Baptist Church strives to promote collegiate access for all students irrespective of race, class, and/or gender.

Dr. Harold R. Benson will receive a posthumous Agricultural Heritage Award, granted to an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to the agricultural heritage of Kentucky State University. Benson contributed to the growth and enhancement of the University’s commitment to agricultural science.

Mr. Roderick J. Lewis will receive the Athletic Heritage Award, granted to an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to the athletic heritage of Kentucky State University. Lewis has exemplified the University’s tradition of excellence in the athletic arena.

The students are looking forward to remembering those who have paved the way for them today and MC Lyte’s address.

“MC Lyte is a legendary rapper,” said Sydney Hart, a senior from St. Louis, Missouri. “She’s been in the game for decades and she’s been a trailblazer in the influx we’re seeing of female rappers coming back to the game. She is a true inspiration and continues to influence our generation.”

“As a music producer, I have the utmost respect for MC Lyte, as she is one of the pioneers of hip-hop,” said Joshua Patton, a junior from Detroit, Michigan. “I hope that her visiting Kentucky State will encourage students to take their dreams and heritage seriously, especially those involved in music.”

Seating in the Carl H. Smith Auditorium is on a first-come, first-served basis. Ushers will direct guests to available seating. Attendees should arrive early. Every effort will be made to accommodate guests.