“HANDS UP DON’T SHOOT!”… “I CAN’T BREATHE!” … THAT’S WHAT THE PEOPLE ARE CHANTING ON THE STREETS FROM FERGUSON TO NYC … TALIB KWELI IS ON THE FRONTLINE… LAURYN HILL EXPRESSES ‘BLACK RAGE’… MEANWHILE PHILOSOPHER, ACADEMIC, ACTIVIST & AUTHOR, DR.CORNEL WEST, REFLECTS ON PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND THE SITUATION ON FERGUSON AND DECLARES: “IT’S LIKE YOU’RE LOOKING FOR JOHN COLTRANE AND YOU GET KENNY G IN BROWN SKIN.”
Only the other day I was talking to friends about the protests in the States against police brutality and the militarisation of the police force and wondering why we’d heard so little from the hip hop community which, in 2014, wields hugely influential cultural and financial power. Well, thanks to OK player I was introduced to Democracy Now! and as a result I’m a little more informed. Below are two stories they focused on.
First up is an interview done by http://www.democracynow.org. As the protests continued in Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting of Michael Brown, they hook up with two well-known voices who have come to Ferguson to show their support – Talib Kweli and Rosa Clemente. As on half of Black Star alongside Mos Def, Talib Kweli helped define the underground, conscious hip-hop movement that re-emerged in the late 1990s and since then he has remained true his chosen path while using his global status to champion political causes, including police brutality and the prison-industrial complex. Talib traveled to Ferguson with Rosa Clemente, a longtime activist, journalist, scholar, and former director of the Hip-Hop Caucus. Alongside poet Jessica Care Moore they experienced first hand the potentially deadly response of the police to what was essentially a peaceful demonstration by men, women and children.
Secondly, in the wake of Michael Brown‘s tragic death at the hands of Ferguson, MO police Lauren Hill posted ‘Black Rage’ on Soundcloud – “An old sketch of Black Rage, done in my living room. Strange, the course of things. Peace for MO.”
It’s based on the Sound Of Music’s ‘My Favorite Things’ (also a John Coltrane‘s standard!)… it’s lyrically powerful, the beats are raw, the kids are in the background… it’s an anthem dedicated to the victims of police brutality the world over.
Mo’ News: In New York City, thousands attended rally on Staten Island for justice in the case of Eric Garner, the African-American man who died in a police chokehold last month. Here’s a report: