August 16 2002
In This weeks Issue:
*Millions For Reparations in DC
*Talib and Sway to Host Black August Benefit Concert
*The Low Down on Cynthia Mckinney
*Hip Hop Minister to Challenge Congressman Charles Rangel
*Cynthia Mckinney Speaks on Hip Hop & Politics
*SF Bayview Needs Your Help
send comments and feedback to:
peep out the websites:
A Couple of Quick Notes:
First, I wanna say what's up to everybody and thank all those who have
long supported the FNV Newsletter. As many of you know we have always
done a mixture of Hip Hop News, Editorials and Political Break Downs.
The results have been tremendous. One of those benefits has been the
large number of people we come into contact with that are elected
officials, activist, community leaders and just plain old regular
folks who have strong 'political' opinions. The wealth of knowledge
these individuals posse is incredible and we feel it's important to
tap into it..
Over the next couple of weeks you will notice an addition to the FNV
Newsletter being sent out... HHPN [Hip Hop Political Newsletter] that
focuses more on politics. This is being done in cooperation and
participation of a number of people who are in the forefront of Hip
Hop Political activism. That includes people like former Wu-Tang
manager Cedric Muhammad of Blackelectorate.com, Bakari Kitwana who
wrote the incredible book 'The Hip Hop Generation', Ferai Chideya of
'PopandPolitics.com, Nishat Kuwra of KPFA, Heru of Black Imperial
Society, Harrison Chastang of KPOO Radio and the SF Bayview, Hip
Hop/political writer Lee Hubbard, The good folks over at
AllHipHop.com-'The worlds most dangerous site' and many more.
There's an old saying: 'Everything is Political'...'Avoiding Political
Engagement is Political'. As Hip Hop grows older and many of us
mature our involvement in 'politics' is crucial. All one has to do is
look around and see all the ways in which we are being 'legislated'
against. For example, there's a police task force in NY that follows
and profiles rap stars and their fans.-that's political. There's a
cabaret law on the books in NYC that makes it illegal and penalize bar
owners if anyone is caught dancing. Police seem to be cracking down
on bars that employ DJs-that's political. We have all sorts of
pending legislation in Congress that would make it a felony to
download or upgrade your computer to circumvent any sort of technology
put in place to prevent downloading.-that's definitely political. A bill
defeated yesterday that would ease the types of lopsided contracts
recording artists are signed to... All this is going on and it
impacts the Hip Hop community.
We won't even talk about all the laws that have been passed since
9-11. Just yesterday a Federal judge reversed her decision against
the Bush administration. As we fight the war on terrorism you can now
be 'detained' indefinitely and not have your name released.
This is the plight that now faces the guy in Chicago-Jose Padilla who
was arrested in June and accused of having ties to al Qaeda and
getting ready to build a 'dirty bomb'. Well, now we find that all the
hoop-la was overblown. Thus far the guy who is still detained, has no
connections to any terrorist network and was hardly in a position to
build a bomb, much less a dirty bomb.
The bottom line is it's important for us as a Hip Hop community to
weigh in on all that's going on. There are many that would prefer us
to simply focus on the music and emcee battles and leave the politics
to politicians. We think not. We can do both and will do both. We
can enjoy Hip Hop and be politically aware.
Over the next month we will be separating the lists for those who
simply want to get the FNV and those who wish to get the HHNP..
But over the next month or so you will get both..
hit me back w/ your feedback firstname.lastname@example.org
MILLIONS FOR REPARATIONS MARCH THIS SATURDAY
Don't forget this weekend thousands will be gathering at the nation's
capitol to not only celebrate Marcus Garvey's 115th birthday but to
also deal with the issue of Reparations.
The Millions for Reparations March [Washington DC] is going down from
12 noon to 5:30pm and will be broadcast live on KPFA here in the Bay
Area, WBAI in New York, KPFK in Los Angeles and our sister stations
in Houston and Washington DC.. For more information be sure to peep
the website.. www.millionsforreparations.com call (708) 389-9929 or
718-443-2223 for more information.
LOGISTICS FOR THE NATIONAL RALLY 1. Provisions have been made for
buses coming to DC to park at the RFK Stadium. 2. Participants will
be directed to walk to the rally site located at the National Mall or
to take DC Metro transportation (i.e., subway trains) which is very
accessible and efficient. 3. The rally will start at 12:00 noon
andend at 5:30 p.m.
TALIB AND SWAY TO HOST BLACK AUGUST BENEFIT CONCERT
by Nolan Strong of Allhiphop.com
The 5th Annual Black August Benefit Concert will take place Wednesday
August 28th, in New York City. The event, which is billed as a
celebration of hip-hop and freedom fighters, is being dedicated to the
reparations movement, will be headlined by Talib Kweli and hosted by
Sway and La Bruja of Def Poetry Jam.
"It's a natural part of what I do," Kweli told AllHipHop.com. "I dont
see how anybody cannot support Black August, especially in the face of
so much complacencey and apathy in our communities."
Taking place at Synod Hall on 110th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in New
York City, the show will also feature performances by Rise & Shine,
Black Thought of The Roots, Tahir w/duo Live, Welfare Poets
w/Alkebulan, Tye Phoenix, Hip-Hop Project DJ Life and Martin Luther.
"Black August is the medicine needed to cure a lot of social illnesses
within the hip-hop community," Sway told AllHipHop.com. "The
consciousness spread through music and forums formal or spontaneous is
the balance that is the void in the rap industry. Plus the stage
performances are dope and entertaining. Everyone at some point should
take a pilgrimage to Black August."
Kweli, who is also preparing to release his latest album "Kwelity,"
added "To be responsible for our community is not something that I
feel anybody should be applauded for, it's something that has to be
Doors open at 7 P.M. and the show starts at 8 P.M. Tickets are $20 in
advance. For more information you can call 718-622-8292 or email
Nolan Strong of Allhiphop.com
THE LOW DOWN ON CYNTHIA MCKINNEY
by Cedric Muhammed
That Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is the first member of Congress to
have a Hip-Hop plank in her platform speaks for itself. There has
never been a nationally elected official so willing to invest their
political capital on behalf of the interests of the Hip-Hop
generation, community, and industry. From the criminal justice and
education issues that the Hip-Hop generation champions; to the fight
for better recording contracts and freedom of speech for artists; to
the business concerns of "Mom and Pop" independent retailers; to being
the mother of a teenage son who loves Hip-Hop, Congresswoman McKinney
stands head and shoulders above any political leader in the United
States of America where respect and advocacy of Hip-Hop as a culture,
economy, and political force is concerned.
If Rep. McKinney were successful in defeating her opponent in next
Tuesday's [Aug 20 2002] Democratic primary for the congressional seat
of the 4th district of Georgia, and again, against her opponents in
the general election in November, it would mark the dawn of a new day
in American politics. Never before has a Black incumbent been able to
withstand the barrage of local and national media propaganda, special
interest money, and apathetic attitude of their own political party's
establishment as Rep. McKinney has thus far. If she is able to
retain her seat in the face of such overwhelming opposition, not only
does she and the 4th district win, but also the Hip-Hop community and
the independent and progressive coalition that is becoming Rep.
McKinney's national constituency. Anyone serious about shifting the
paradigm of the local, American, and global political economy should
seriously consider supporting Rep. McKinney, in the appropriate
manner - this weekend through Tuesday.
If you live in the fourth district, cast your ballots for Cynthia
McKinney; if you live outside of her district make an online donation
to her campaign, encourage Get-Out-The-Vote efforts (GOTV) on her
behalf, and spread the word about her principled stances far and wide.
We have truly arrived at a critical hour in our evolution. After 30
years of existence Hip-Hop has finally helped to produce a political
Cynthia McKinney For Congress.
By Cedric Muhammed of Blackelectorate.com
drop Ced an email at: cedric@Blackelectorate.com
HIP HOP MINISTER SWITCHES FAITH, RUNS FOR OFFICE:
By Nolan Strong of Allhiphop.com
"Hip-Hop Minister" Conrad Muhammad recently announced he left the
Nation Of Islam, has turned to Christianity and will run against
popular New York Democrat Charles Rangel for New York's 15th
Congressional District which comprises East and Central Harlem, the
Upper West Side, and Washington Heights/Inwood neighborhoods.
"I call it a wilderness experience. The black church is a great
tradition, but I decided to go home because there was no context for
me to be in Islam," Muhammad said on Bill O'Reilly's "O'Reilly
Muhammad, who is vocal in his criticism of the current state of
hip-hop music and the effects it may have on African-American
communities, was educated at the Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge,
"Islam, Christianity and Judaism, all of these are Abrahamic faiths.
My tenure in Islam was good, it taught me to honor faiths. It also
taught me that Christianity has values, but so does Islam and Judaism.
I did find after my research that where I am in my life, my
understanding, I believe that the teachings of Christ is the salve
that can heal our wounds."
Muhammad was known for his harsh rhetoric against Jews and Christians,
saying that Christians practice a dirty religion" and called Jews
"bloodsuckers." "I want to say that I was 19 when I joined the
nation, and I admit to having a tone and speaking in a manner that
didn't lead to constructive dialogue. I hope that people will not use
my past for political purposes. I will always be a fighter of
justice," he said.
Muhammad is running against long time Harlem Rep Charles Rangel,
hoping to unseat him. "I differ with Rangel on a number of issues.
It's time for a new generation of leaders to step forward. We
understand the complexities facing the African-American community.
Rangel has given the keys to business away. You don't give
multinationals money and then tell Mom and pops to compete with them.
When he invited Clinton, over night, the people and businesses
experienced a 300 percent increase in rent.
Gentrification's is taking place and Rangel has failed to serve the
by Nolan Strong of Allhiphop.com
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY SPEAKS ON HIP HOP AND POLITICS
by Davey D
We caught up with Cynthia Mckinney the other week and broke bread with
her as she gears up for a huge political fight in ATL. She's been in
Congress for 10 years and has been putting it down on our behalf.
Folks need to get out to the polls and vote next Tuesday August 20....
As next week's election will be close/ Here's what she had to say...
DAVEY D: Congresswoman, how have things been for you since the
controversy over your September 11th remarks?
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: Davey, as you know, I am concerned with freedom and
justice and the truth and I try to raise questions that others are
hesitant to. When I asked the question of what the Bush
Admininstration knew and when did it know it, I received nothing but
criticism. And the criticism sunk to personal attack. But since
then, as you know, the White House, the CIA, and the FBI are reeling
from revelations of what they knew and when they knew it and what they
did about it.
DAVEY D: Even some prominent members of your own political party
living in the state of Georgia, like U.S. Senator Zell Miller,
criticized you and called you names for saying something before it
became popular and legitimate. How did that make you feel?
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: It's a free country. Zell Miller can say what he
wants to say. However, it's important to remember that this is the
same Zell Miller who came to me and personally asked me to help him
win election as the junior Senator from Georgia. He is the same Zell
Miller who went all around black Georgia asking for support. That
typifies the state of black America and its ballot power. We continue
to vote and vote for people who forget us when we need them. That's
Democrats and Republicans. We must do something to turn that around.
A CNN episode of Inside Politics revealed that of the 50 Democratic
Senators in Congress today, had blacks not voted at all in 1996, 1998,
and 2000 -- the years that the current Senate was elected -- the
number of Democrats in the Senate would drop to about 32. If we have
that much ballot power, what does our community get for it? And why
are our babies still dying before their first birthday at twice the
rate of white babies? Why do our children have the highest risk of
asthma? Why is it that our nation's black belt have some of worst
records of unemployment, ideas, and education? I'm pleased that the
Georgia Association Of Black Elected Officials (GABEO) defended me and
authored a resolution asking Senator Miller to repair the damage he
has done in the community by speaking about me the way he did. You
can read their resolution at http://www.gabeo.org/urgent.htm. The
criticism smacked of the same double standard that we have seen
historically with COINTELPRO. But one thing is clear, I will not sit
down and I will not shut up when I see injustice or a chance to make a
DAVEY D: Many people in the Hip-Hop community are fond of you, what do
you think it is that makes you popular with that crowd?
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: I love the Hip Hop Generation and I love Hip Hop
culture. I think they see in me what is in themselves. I am honored
by their support of me. The Hip-Hop community is a fearless and
candid community that is intensely concerned with issues of justice.
I am a lot like that. In addition, I am a "Hip-Hop mom" so to speak.
My teenage son is a huge fan of the music and he writes about what the
culture means to him. And I listen and learn from him and we have
frank discussions about the role of Hip-Hop culture in solving
political problems. I accept the challenge to bring Hip-Hop and
politics together. I have endorsed the Hip-Hop Summit Action
Network's 15-point National Agenda and am looking forward to working
with Russell Simmons more closely on the issues that the community is
concerned about. I admire what he has been able to do in New York,
especially in terms of the education issue, which is so important. My
constituents in Atlanta know of my commitment to the Hip-Hop
generation and culture.
In 2000 I convened a Hip-Hop Powershop 2000, which was a forum that
addressed the various political, economic, and social issues affecting
today's youth. In 2001 I participated in the Hip-Hop Summit in New
York City, hosted by Russell Simmons. In addition, many of the
progressive grassroots organizations and activists that I regularly
work with are active on the issues and concerns that many rap artists
champion - reparations, political prisoners and things like
COINTELPRO, which, as you know, I talk about frequently. And finally,
I, like so many in Hip-hop have been inspired by the life of Tupac
Shakur who offered so much to us in his lyrics and life which was
filled with important lessons. But most importantly, for myself and I
think for young people, Tupac, in many cases, spoke truth to power.
He and artists like Public Enemy, KRS-One, Queen Latifah and Big Daddy
Kane, years ago, and Common, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Nas and Mos Def,
today, say the things that everyday Americans think and feel. But
most importantly, they speak for the disenfranchised and the hopeless
who feel that the system works against them in so many ways.
DAVEY D: Do you think that feeling of disenfranchisement and
hopelessness contributes to young people not wanting to vote?
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: Absolutely and with good reason, especially in
minority communities. And it all is connected with government
policies, one way or another. I have said some very blunt things
regarding this problem as it particularly affects Black males. And I
don't think the way it plays out is an accident, if you look at the
facts and statistics.
In Georgia, where I represent the Fourth Congressional District, a
convicted felon loses the right to vote until his or her sentence has
been completed and that convicted felon must no longer be serving
probation or parole, owe no fines. It should come as no surprise that
Georgia has a disproportionate number of black males incarcerated for
In a state with traditionally low voter turn out and where one in four
registered voters is black, it is evident that every possible vote
counts and every black voter can make a tremendous difference in who
gets elected. Between August 1, 1997, and July 31, 1998, 6,765
persons lost the right to vote because of felony convictions. Of this
number, 3, 087 -- half -- were black males. Georgia, in my view, is
practicing vote dilution and vote denial.
I must point out, that in the United States between 1985 and 1995 the
number of prisoners with sentences of more than 1 year rose by over
600,000. The number of black males in prison increased by 143 percent
and the number of black females in prison increased by 204 percent.
On December 31, 1995, an estimated 3.2 percent of all black males were
in prison, compared with less than half of 1 percent of all white
males. In 1995, black males were seven times more likely to be in
prison than white males. Many arguments are advanced as to why such
glaring disparities exist in incarceration rates between black and
whites. Public policy which produced a "war on drugs", disparities in
legal representation, and harassment by the law enforcement
authorities are perceived to be large contributing factors.
To sum it up, in my view, the United States is practicing vote
dilution and vote denial.
If 51 percent of incarcerated persons today are African American
males, then we must also look close to home for a solution. Why does
12 percent of the total United States population represent 50 percent
of the national prison and jail population?
Is this what my brother Tupac Shakur was singing and rapping about?
Was he trying to send us a signal? Was he trying to reach out to us?
I think he was.
And he was speaking to our young people who are the ones increasingly
being victimized by these laws which rob them of their present and
DAVEY D: So, what do you say to people who agree with all of that and
who say that voting, altogether is a waste of time? What do you say
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: Just look at what happened in Florida in 2000, rich
and powerful people got together to thwart the effectiveness of our
vote. Why? Because they recognize the power of our vote. Then,
The drug sentencing disparities, broader juvenile justice issues and
economic policy are all public policy products ultimately shaped by
voters and elected officials. If you place your vote and financial
resources behind candidates and policy prescriptions that solve
problems and change laws you increase your power. If you don't it is
a guarantee that others will shape public policy for you.
DAVEY D: How is your campaign going?
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: We have gotten off to a great start and our website
is up and running at http://www.cynthia2002.com/. I encourage all of
your viewers to visit the website and e-mail me and learn more about
the issues and how they can help us, if they choose. I am an avid
Internet reader and would love to hear from all of those in your
network, Davey. I have a track record before my constituents in the
4th District of Atlanta that I am running on. We have worked to bring
in resources and opportunities, and solve problems in our district and
throughout Georgia, and I hope to do even more through an additional
term served in Congress.
On issues like civil rights, healthcare, transportation, juvenile
justice, housing, education and the environment I think I have
demonstrated clear leadership and a track record that my opponent
can't match. And I will continue to be a voice that will speak truth
to power, inside the 4th District and across the nation and our world.
My Democratic primary is on August 20th and we are planning a major
Hip-Hop focused event on August 10th, in my district. I hope that you
Davey, personally, and many of your viewers can participate. We will
be providing you with more information on that event and will post
updates regarding it on our website at http://www.cynthia2002.com/.
DAVEY D: What is the state in your opinion, of the Black vote?
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: To be honest, it should be much better. I want to
share with you something that appeared in the April 25th, 2002 edition
of CNN's Inside Politics. On that show the following discussion took
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, how dependent are
Democrats on the African-American vote?
Without black voters, the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections would
have been virtually tied, just like the 2000 election. Oh no, more
(voice-over): What would have happened if no blacks had voted in 2000?
Six states would have shifted from Al Gore to George W. Bush:
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oregon.
Bush would have won by 187 electoral votes, instead of five. A
Florida recount? Not necessary.
Right now, there are 50 Democrats in the Senate. How many would be
there without African-American voters? We checked the state exit
polls for the 1996, 1998, and 2000 elections. If no blacks had voted,
many Southern Democrats would not have made it to the Senate. Both
Max Cleland and Zell Miller needed black votes to win in Georgia. So
did Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, John Edwards
in North Carolina, and Ernest Hollings in South Carolina.
Black votes were also crucial for Jon Corzine in New Jersey, Debbie
Stabenow in Michigan, and Jean Carnahan in Missouri. Washington state
and Nevada don't have many black voters, but they were still crucial
to the victories of Harry Reid in Nevada and Maria Cantwell in
Nebraska and Wisconsin don't have many black voters either, but Ben
Nelson would have lost Nebraska without them and Russ Feingold would
have lost Wisconsin, too, in both cases by less than half-a- percent.
Bottom line? Wit hout the African-American vote, the number of
Democrats in the Senate would be reduced from 50 to 37.
SCHNEIDER: A hopeless minority. And Jim Jeffords' defection from the
GOP would not have meant a thing -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: We know the Democrats are aware of this. Bill Schneider,
thanks very much.
Look at the power of the Black vote and I might add what we do not get
from that power. It reminds me of what Malcolm X said in his
magnificent message The Ballot or the Bullet on the potential power of
DAVEY D: Do you think the Democratic Party takes Blacks for granted?
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: Yes, I do.
DAVEY D: Do you think there is a "Hip-Hop" vote?
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: Yes and no. The most potentially powerful voting
bloc in the black community is the "Hip Hop vote." We all must make
that power a reality. And that reality must change the conditions of
DAVEY D: What do you think of Michael Jackson's comments about the
music industry being racist?
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: I think Michael knows what he is talking about. He
had his own personal experience that he is now educating us about.
But Michael Jackson isn't the only one. Many people know that the
contracts in the music business are unfair and do not adequately
reward the creativity of the artists. R&B and Hip-Hop artists are
quite often the lowest paid. This has to change. That is why I have
a Hip-Hop component to my agenda that would address the compensation
problems inherent in standard recording contracts. I stand with
recording artists who want to reform these contracts that in some
cases amount to little more than slavery. Hip-Hop just accepted the
standard music recording contract with a few aspects added that make
things worse for the artists. And the problem isn't just in the music
business, I see it in terms of race and gender, and have fought
against it in my own district and across the nation. For example, I
was the original cosponsor of the Equal Pay Day Resolution to address
the wage gap between men and women. For every dollar a man earns,
women only earn 73 cents of that dollar. The wage gap is even higher
for minority women. African-American women earn 63 cents and Hispanic
women earn 53 cents on the man's dollar. We need fairness and
equality in wage and salary compensation throughout the U.S. economy.
DAVEY D: Are you concerned about the violent images directed towards
women in Hip-Hop lyrics?
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: Davey, I am. Especially as a mother. And I'm
concerned that those are the lyrics and TV videos that get air time.
But the politically instructive messages of other artists are
virtually ignored. And I'm concerned that our children are being
herded into thinking of themselves only as sexual objects and not real
competitors on the battlefield of life, in economics, in politics, in
I also think that it is important that we consider the interests of
Independent and "Mom and Pop" retailers who depend upon this culture
for a living. They are part of the Hip-Hop community and many artists
would not be successful without these stores.
DAVEY D: Is there anything else that you would like to say?
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: I am a regular visitor to your wonderful website
[www.daveyd.com] and I am on your listserve. You are in the vanguard
of one of the greatest socio-economic movements in decades and I hope
to serve as a trusted political bridge for the generation to travel
across in order to make laws that improve the conditions that we live
under. I not only want, but need your support as I continue to fight
on behalf of freedom and opportunity for all of us.
THE SF BAYVIEW NEWSPAPER NEEDS YOUR HELP
Folks who live here in the SF Bayview know the value of the SF Bayview
Newspaper. This is an incredible newspaper which has won anumber of
awards for its news coverage and more importantly has been a place
where many up and coming young writers have gotten their first shot.
From people like Lee Hubbard to JR Valry to Harrison Chastang, Dave
Muhammed, myself and numerous others. All of us have had an
opportunity to be read in the SF Bayview.
One of the great things about the Bayview is that they are not afraid
to deal with issues that are important to the Hip Hop community.
Whether it's the latest emcee battle to the organizing of Hip Hop
activists, the Bayview has covered it...
Right now they are in trouble and need your help.They must raise
$5,300 by Monday. Please come out Saturday and Sunday and enjoy this
amazing fundraiser put together by some wonderful young people - and
if you can spare a loan or donation, they're at 4908 Third St., San
Francisco CA 94124, or give them a call at (415) 671-0449.
A Desperately Needed Fundraiser for The San Francisco Bay View
Newspaper - This Saturday & Sunday - Aug 17th & 18th event runs both
days from 5 p.m to approx 12 a.m midnight
Y'all should come on down to see the most popular films of The Hip Hop
Film Fest like "Freestyle:The Art of Rhyme", and "Straight Outta
Hunters Point". In addition to great indie films, there will be
performances from rap artists like T-Kash of The Coup, Askari X,
Jymini, and and spoken word from Natural Blackness. The Fest also
promises awareness building dialogue with local alternative media
panelists from SF Bay View, KPFA, Guerilla News Network, Mother Jones,
Poor Magazine etc . Enjoy opportunities to win raffle prizes, soak up
the vibe and suck up some some Hot BBQ & Louisiana Gumbo in the
934 Brannan Street (between 8th and 9th Streets)
San Francisco CA
Somar Event Line: 415.552.2131x401
send comments and feedback to:
peep out the websites: