Toni Blackman- Bio

A rap lyricist, vocalist, actress and writer, Blackman is the founder and director of the Freestyle Union.  This is a Washington DC based organization for hip hop artists and rappers, whose works earned Blackman a fellowship with the Echoing Green Foundation, a Washington Area Music Award and an invitation to the White House Millenium Celebration with Bill and Hillary Clinton.  Blackman has toured extensively, having been a featured poet and presenter at the DODGE Foundation's Poetry Festival, billed alongside Chinua Achebe, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Sekou Sundiata, and served as a King-Chavez-Parks Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan.  This multi-talented individual has been listed in ESSENCE Magazine’s 2000 listing of “30 Women to Watch,” been featured in the NY Times and was recently featured in SAVOY and Newsweek Japan.  With only more great things to come Blackman’s latest accomplishment was a trip to Senegal and Ghana in February, where she served as the US State Department’s hip-hop ambassador and cultural specialist.