The first step toward breaking racial barriers was taken when Barack Obama was elected president, Benjamin Chavis, Jr. told students at Boston University’s Howard Thurman Center Tuesday

By Lauren Metter
Published: February 11, 2009

Chavis, a former head of the NAACP and co-founder of the National Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, spoke as part of BU’s African-American studies program’s lecture series for Black History Month. . .

In 1995, Chavis organized the Million Man March in Washington D.C. with hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. The march was aimed at encouraging black men to vote. After gaining the support of famous hip-hop artists, the march received massive global publicity. Six years later, Chavis and Simmons created the first National Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, the largest national coalition of hip-hop artists, youth activists and hip-hop leaders, Chavis said.

Chavis said he sees a “direct continuity” between what inspired young people in the civil rights movement and what moves them to action today in the hip-hop community. Hip-hop is a “global cultural phenomenon,” he said. . . . --NewsHammer 2/11/2009

Continue reading the Feb 11, 2009 article from Boston University's The Daily Free Press.


  1. Alan Gillis // 3/17/2009 7:56 AM  

    Alan Gillis Comment on this article in The Daily Free Press

    Wed Feb 18 2009 21:26

    Hadn't considered Hip-Hop with a political soul, but then art has always covered social dimensions. And a lot of artists have backed important causes and now Obama. Massive social restructuring from the top down and from an always more or less conservative Washington, isn't likely to happen fast enough. And never mind all the resistance from big business and big government bureaucracy whose recent agenda is nothing short of Neo-feudalism. Optimism isn't going to cut it.

    Students and the student press should take a bigger critical role in safeguarding our freedoms and culture. Big media is more or less part of the establishment. They weren't watching closely enough as the U.S. spiraled into outsourcing, wars and economic meltdown. Where were the blazing headlines? Apart from Lou Dobbs on CNN. . . .