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Hip Hop Environmentalism

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Environment, Politics, hip hop, environmentalism, the Nation,

The civil rights and environmental movements were once melded together for one glorious moment in time: when Marvin Gaye released the song “What’s Going On.” The song struck a chord, expressing the yearning for both environmental justice and civil rights in a mournfully beautiful way that reached number 2 on the pop charts.

“Tragically,” the Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. and Bill McKibben write for The Nationcivil rights and environmentalism “soon diverged—diverged so far that some people still find it odd that activists like ourselves are working side by side again on issues like global warming and poverty.” Today there is a potential to mend the rift between the two movements by enlisting hip hop activists in the fight against climate change.

Yearwood and McKibben write, “The swagger and style that young people and their urban-influenced culture bring to the green movement bear little resemblance to the old tree-hugging brand of environmentalism.” And that could be a very powerful thing.

Which reminds me:

Source: The Nation