By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
9.24.14: National – (Politics): Hours before the biggest night of his life, iconic civil rights leader Rev. Lennox Yearwood, founder of the globally recognized nonprofit organization Hip Hop Caucus – which is celebrating 10 years of advocacy and progress this month – was sitting in a quaint cafe around the corner from D.C’s historic Howard Theater; he was preparing himself mentally to stand before more than 100 members of the press – and a packed house – to introduce H.O.M.E, the-first ever hip-hop, climate change awareness album.
“It took us 90 days to complete it,” he tells me, as we exited the café and made our way towards the theater, where a large number of the press was already in position.
If you’ve followed his work, it’s not hard to believe that 48 hours before Rev. Yearwood laid his brightly colored sneaks on the red carpet, he was marching a hole into them during NYC’s massive climate gathering.
“In the 20th century our parents fought for equality. But in the 21st century, we are fighting for existence,” he said, as he opened the show, which was headlined by Elle Varner and Ne-Yo.
Determined to make sure there’s black and brown faces represented in the climate action movement, as he understands that climate change – particularly air pollution – is disproportionately impacting communities of color, Rev. Yearwood has successfully leveraged the universal, undeniable appeal of hip-hop to cool-up the message on climate action.
“100 years from now none of us will be here. But the reality is that our children, and one children’s children will hopefully get to see this album and hopefully they’re around, and have clean air and they have clean water and can breathe,” says Rev. Yearwood.
The Howard University graduate, who got plenty of love from the audience, called the climate action movement “our lunch counter moment.”
“Dr. King said one day we’ll be free at last… free at last… thank God almighty we’re free at last. Hopefully one day we will say we’re fossil free at last… fossil free at last, thank God almighty were fossil free at last!”
The hip-hop community understands their role in the movement and, Choklate, a powerhouse singer from Seattle, urged attendees to talk about climate change after the show in their neighborhoods.
As a member of the Philly chapter of the Hip-Hop Caucus, I echo her call to action and will take it one step further: go paperless, it’ll make a difference!
We all can play a part in sustaining the world because we’re all superheroes with superpowers. And with that said, every good superhero needs theme music – so when H.O.M.E hits the market in mid-October grab it, play it loud and let’s heal our Mother Earth.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
About Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
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