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The March 1 'MHP' Syllabus

Rapper Talib Kweli joins us on set to discuss the cultural appropriation of hip-hop, plus the "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, food policy, and much more!
Talib Kweli performing at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, Nov. 22, 2013, in Atlanta.
Talib Kweli performing at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, Nov. 22, 2013, in Atlanta.

First Lady Michelle Obama marked the fourth anniversary of her “Let’s Move!” campaign this week with the announcement of two new proposals. On Tuesday, the First Lady and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack proposed an initiative that would give the federal government the ability to regulate the messages food marketers send to public school students. Later in the week, she helped give the nutrition label a much needed upgrade with the unveiling of a new label that’s more accurate and easy to read. Though it has yet to be approved, the new label, constructed by the Food and Drug Administration, will indicate realistic serving sizes and will condense various sugars into a single measurement. In addition, the calorie listings will now be displayed in larger fonts so they can’t be missed.

Don’t underestimate the significance of these moves out of the White House’s East Wing. Taking on “Big Food” is no small effort.

These announcements come on the heels of good news – really good, big deal, headline making news: obesity amongst children aged 2 to 5 is down 43%. And then the bad: a recent Gallup poll shows that in 2013, more than 27% of American adults were obese--making it the worst year for adult obesity since Gallup started keeping track of the statistic in 2008. Can First Lady Michelle Obama make the difference? Join us for that discussion Saturday.

From the other wing of the White House, President Obama this week was busy formally introducing a groundbreaking initiative of his own. On Thursday, on stage with a group of young minority men, the president announced the official start of his new policy initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, which seeks to increase education and professional opportunities for those young men of color.

Did you ever think you’d hear us talking about Justin Bieber? We didn’t, either.

The Pop Prince has recently undergone a bit of an identity change, going from teen heartthrob to alleged lawbreaking bad boy. His recent alleged legal infractions have led some to attribute the singer’s behavior to his growing interest in hip-hop and rap music and the stereotypes of the culture associated with those genres. Leading us to ask, is Justin Bieber another example of the growing misappropriation of hip-hop and rap culture. On Saturday, join us for an in depth conversation on race, rap and cultural appropriation featuring rapper Talib Kweli. 

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch MHP Sunday at 10am EST on msnbc! Ari Melber, co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle, will be sitting in for host Melissa Harris-Perry. Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.