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Activism: Talib Kweli Says The Hip-Hop Community Owes Mike Brown More Than Tweets


Shout to @Carmen_Breezy for bringing this story angle to our attention.

I’m not sure that Talib has fleshed out a plan to do so, but his latest Tweets show that he is compelled to do something more than Tweet. Kweli gave 10 Reasons Why Hip-Hop Artists Should Support Ferguson protests and community actions:

  1. Tweets that aren’t connected to a movement can lead one to falsely believe they’ve done enough. I need to put my money where my tweets are.
  2. People need to see that our leaders are more than Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Al and Jesse cannot control the narrative for us.
  3. Mike Brown loved Hip-Hop and wrote lyrics. He was a fan of Hip-Hop. The Hip-Hop community owes him.
  4. We need to direct attention from the very small amount of “looters” to the true community protestors. We need to take back the narrative.
  5. We need to show the community of Ferguson that we are willing to do more. We need to show them they don’t stand alone.
  6. Artists who make money off the community are obligated to be there when the community is being brutalized.
  7. I believe in love, compassion, the right to simply exist and due process for all.
  8. I have a son Mike Brown’s age. It could’ve been him.
  9. I could be next.
  10. What would Malcolm do?

Inherent within these reasons is a call for other artists to do more, too. More points than a plan, Kweli’s Tweets communicate that his ‘doing more’ starts with his actually going to Ferguson, Missouri. And I’m inclined to believe that this trek is about more than a photo op to him.

Kweli was very visible and vocal at ‘Occupy Wall Street’ – another movement that it made sense for him to join. Per one of his points, he looks to take back the narrative – a very powerful notion – and he could really use an expanded band of fellow Nation of Hip-Hop ‘Heads of State’ to help him do so. At the very least, Kweli (and others who join up) can shift media focus back to the protest in response to an injustice; rather than ad hominem ‘facts’ and character attacks that take attention from communication of the core issue message: A kid was killed AGAIN…by police officers abusing the power they have been given and abusing those they swore to protect AGAIN… and the kid that was killed just happened to be Black…AGAIN. Finally fed up, the people are massing in Ferguson to pressure the abusers and those who gave them power to stop killing our kids!

That is the message. Stay on topic, media. And if you need something to make reporting what matters ‘worthwhile’… ooh look, it’s that activist rapper, Talib Kweli! He is in Ferguson now…and look who’s joining him! News at 11.

(UPDATE: J. Cole and Nelly touched down in Ferguson.)


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