R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop Reports to the Community on “Stop Hot 97” Campaign
Kevin Powell, Ras Baraka, Kuttin’ Kandi, Rosa Clemente, Youth and Others
Speak at Townhall Meeting THIS SATURDAY: June 11, 2005 at 1:00 pm
June 3, 2005 - - Join R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop [Representing Education, Activism and Community Through Hip Hop] this Saturday, June 11 for a Community Town Hall Meeting that will address the latest developments of the “Stop Hot 97” campaign that began earlier this year. The free event will be held at Unity Hall, located at 235 W. 23rd Street (between 7 & 8 Avenues) in New York City from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
Confirmed speakers include activist and author Kevin Powell; Newark Deputy Mayor for Youth and Social Services Ras Baraka; media reform activist Rosa Clemente; and R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop co-founder DJ Kuttin Kandi. The program will also feature poetry and Hip Hop performances by local high school youth, DJ Boo, and the UN Ambassador of Hip Hop, Toni Blackman. The program will be MC’d by activist and cultural arts entrepreneur April Silver.
The community-at-large is encouraged to find out the facts about this campaign, learn about the most effective ways to effect change in media, as well as join in on a celebration of the positive aspects of Hip Hop culture. As a courtesy, R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop will offer free on-site childcare for parents who want to bring their children.
WHO and WHAT IS R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop?
R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop (formerly known as the NYC Hip Hop Coalition) is a diverse coalition of artists, activists, Hip Hop legends and historians, journalists, educators, students, and parents within, and in alliance with, the greater Hip Hop community. Our initial call to action was in late January 2005, when commercially owned radio station Hot 97 aired its now infamous Tsunami Song. With a long history of radio programming that is racist, sexist, and obscene, Hot 97 produced and broadcast an offensive parody of the We Are The World song which became known as the Tsunami Song.
The parody included bold racial slurs and unapologetically mocked the deaths of Asians and Africans. In the aftermath of one of the world's most devastating natural disasters, Hot 97’s racist Tsunami Song parody was broadcast continuously for 4 days in late January 2005. Though it was played exclusively on Hot 97 airwaves, it was disseminated internationally via that station’s website. The song not only offended people across the world, but especially the 5 million people abroad and in the United States. People around the world called for immediate action against the radio station. In New York, R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop has been at the forefront of that movement.
Since the birth of our coalition, we have been actively targeting Hot 97 for numerous offenses to the communities they claim to serve. Though we came together in response to the Tsunami Song, it is understood that our fight against corporate media includes much more than that. It is a fight to reclaim Hip Hop culture from corporate media’s co-optation, unbalanced representation, and exploitation. Our fight is also to support and create the balance that is so direly needed on our airwaves and other public media. We assert that our efforts are to not only demand ethical corporate accountability, but also to protect, preserve, and regenerate the great legacy of Hip Hop culture by Representing Education, Activism and Community through Hip-Hop.
OVERVIEW OF COALITION DEMANDS
Of its core demands, the R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop coalition has called for Hot 97 to immediately stop allowing the use the "N" word, other racial slurs, and misogynistic terms in the music played and by its on-air personalities. The coalition is also calling for Hot 97 to implement and maintain a public awareness campaign against racism, discrimination, hate crimes, substance abuse, and other ills that affect the Hip Hop community. The coalition will also continue with its demand that Miss Jones, host of the Hot 97 Morning Show, be immediately fired for her participation in the broadcast of the aforementioned Tsunami Song.
R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop will present a full report to the community regarding Hot 97’s response to the list of demands, as well as the outcome of the meeting that was held with Hot 97's Program Director, John Dimmick, on April 5, 2005. For a full list of the demands, see attachment below.
R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop MISSION STATEMENT
R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop Coalition is dedicated to encouraging and creating fair and equal representation of the diversity of Hip Hop culture, including, but not limited to; race/ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. We are a pro-active body made up of activists, artists, teachers, performers, organizers, and individuals all dedicated to positive change within our communities. We believe Hip Hop’s true legacy belongs to the people, and we strive to utilize Hip Hop as a vehicle of social and political justice to promote education, information, and empowerment for the masses, while preventing the dissemination of negative stereotypes, discrimination, and violence.
For more information about R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop, please visit www.HipHopLivesHere.com.
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