After DJ Vlad Calls For Black Princeton Professor’s Job, Black Twitter Pulls Up

After DJ Vlad Calls For Black Princeton Professor’s Job, Black Twitter Pulls Up

A petition calls for the community to support Professor Morgan Jerkins against Vlad's actions.

DJ Vlad, who has been criticized for his role in hip-hop media over the way that rappers who do interviews for his platform have a tendency to get charged with crimes after appearing on his show, went after Morgan Jerkins, an author, Princeton University professor, and the niece of Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, after she took exception to DJ Vlad inserting himself into the feud between Drake and Kendrick Lamar. 

As The Source reported, when Jerkins asserted that Vlad’s opinion of Kendrick Lamar’s response to Drake was not needed, Vlad (real name Vladimir Lyunovny) responded by threatening to contact Princeton and complain about her comments toward him, which some noted seemed to be rooted in the fact that she was a Black woman who dared to challenge him.

Lyunovny attempted to walk back his claims that he would contact Princeton in a tweet asserting that he was trolling Jerkins and she trolled back; but Jerkins was not joking and in a follow-up post she demanded that he stop trying to contact her family.  

Lyunovny’s actions were also the subject of a petition, titled “Stop DJ Vlad’s Attempt to Silence Black Voices: Protect Professor Morgan Jerkins,” which began circulating on May 5. The petition, started by a person or persons calling themselves Work Related, stated that DJ Vlad was attempting to silence a Black woman and called upon the public to defend Jerkins, academic freedom, and free speech, and to stand against racial discrimination. 

As the petition states, “The situation at hand is deeply troubling and emblematic of the systemic challenges faced by Black individuals, particularly Black women, in asserting their voices and advocating for their communities. [Professor Morgan Jerkins], a highly respected scholar and educator, fearlessly confronted DJ Vlad’s inappropriate interference in Black affairs, rightly asserting that he should ‘stay outta Black folks business.’”

The petition continued, “In response, DJ Vlad has launched a vindictive campaign to pressure Princeton University into terminating Professor Morgan Jerkins’s employment, a blatant attempt to silence dissent and suppress marginalized perspectives. This egregious act not only undermines the integrity of academia but also perpetuates a harmful pattern of silencing Black voices and stifling critical discourse.”

The petition concluded, “By signing this petition, we stand in solidarity with Professor Morgan Jerkins and all those who are fighting against censorship, discrimination, and injustice. Together, we can send a powerful message that attempts to silence Black voices will not be tolerated, and that academic freedom and equity must prevail at Princeton University and beyond.”

Despite the petition only gathering 263 signatures, the responses in defense of Jerkins on Twitter/X have been overwhelmingly in her favor. Many of the responses have mentioned how DJ Vlad threatening her job over a disagreement is emblematic of how white people engage in hip-hop and more broadly, with Black people. As writer CiCi Adams pointed out in a tweet, eventually, white people who immerse themselves in Black culture will inevitably show their slips. “White ppl, no matter how much they immerse themselves in Black culture, are gonna get white on you. It may not be today or tomorrow, but it’s inevitable. They’re gonna reveal their allegiance was never to you, but to whiteness.”

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