Wyclef’s Going to the Ivies

Brown University announced the singer has accepted one of its prestigious visiting fellowships.

By Jamilah King Oct 05, 2010

Looks like singer Wyclef Jean has managed to land on his feet after his failed presidential run in Haiti. The [AP](http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g2J14wp6wuqjHAU4h91N0_9s4U8QD9IL98EO0?docId=D9IL98EO0) reported yesterday that the singer has accepted an appointment as a visiting fellow in Brown University’s Department of Africana Studies for the 2010-2011 school year. Jean’s main task at the university will be to help lead its Haiti Initiative, which includes engaging students in lectures, faculty conversations and classes. According to the AP, Jean says that his time at Brown will be "a period of learning and reflection." And it looks like he’ll have plenty to talk about. The Haitian-born singer has been under an intense amount of scrutiny ever since announcing his presidential ambitions over the summer. Those hopes were cut short after a governing body ruled him [ineligible](https://colorlines.com/archives/2010/08/wyclefs_candidacy_may_not_take_off_after_all.html) to run. It’s largely believed that Jean, who’s spent most of his life in the New York, didn’t meet the government’s constitutional residency requirements. But the race was also riddled with accusations that the artist simply [didn’t understand](https://colorlines.com/archives/2010/08/dispatch_from_haiti_wondering_about_wyclef.html) Haitian [politics and culture](http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/09/06/100906fa_fact_wilentz) enough to lead it in the aftermath of January’s devastating earthquake. That disaster killed upwards of 300,000 people, left another 100,000 homeless, and left billions of dollars in structural damage. And when his political IQ wasn’t being called into question, other raised doubts about his professed allegiance with the country’s poor after it was [revealed](http://newamericamedia.org/2010/08/rapper-is-no-friend-of-haiti—-wyclef-opposed-aristide.php) that the singer had backed the coup 2004 coup of popular President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who remains exiled in South Africa. After battling the country’s election officials to no avail, the singer had previously said he’ll channel his energy into his [next album](https://colorlines.com/archives/2010/09/wyclef_ends_presidential_bid_plans_next_album.html), tentatively titled "If I Were President, The Haitian Experience."