Cornell University Faces Criticism for Housing Afrika Bambaataa’s Vinyl Collection
Cornell University is facing criticism for housing the vinyl collection of Afrika Bambaataa in wake of sexual assault allegations against the hip-hop pioneer. Bamabaataa has been accused of child molestation by four men.
"If Cornell accepts anything from Bambaataa, that’s like it is telling the world it supports child molesters," Randy Savage told the New York Daily News. Savage is one of the four men who allege that Afrika Bambaataa sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers.
Radio DJ Star of Star and Buc Wild fame started a Change.org petition in an effort to get Cornell to end their ties with Afrika Bambaataa in light of the accusations. Bambaataa had been a visiting scholar at Cornell from 2012 to 2015. In March, Cornell announced that it would house the vinyl collection of the "godfather of hip-hop" in their library. The announcement was made before the allegations of sexual assault emerged.
Former New York State Democratic Committee member Ronald Savage was the first person to go public with allegations that Afrika Bambaataa had assaulted him as a child. The claims were made in Savage's book Impulse, Urges and Fantasies, which was published on March 29. Savage said Bambaataa forced him to participate in oral sex from the time he was 13 years old.
Three more men would tell the New York Daily News they experienced similar trauma as Savage, asserting that Afrika Bambaataa sexually assaulted them as well. Bambaataa has called the allegations baseless.
“I, Afrika Bambaataa, want to take this opportunity at the advice of my legal counsel to personally deny any and all allegations of any type of sexual molestation of anyone,” Bambaataa said. “These allegations are baseless and are a cowardly attempt to tarnish my reputation and legacy in hip-hop at this time. This negligent attack on my character will not stop me from continuing my battle and standing up against the violence in our communities, the violence in the nation and the violence worldwide," he said in a statement.
The Zulu Nation has also refuted the allegations. The group professed that these accusations are "a diversion and attention shift tactic designed to counter all the positive works of the Universal Zulu Nation."
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