This Week in Social Justice - Ep5: Hip-Hop Protest Songs & Fred Hampton

Posted by News Beat on December 14, 2020  •  8 min read
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The News Beat crew is joined on this extraordinary episode of 'This Week in Social Justice' by hip-hop flamethrower and Artist in Resident Silent Knight, and civil rights attorney and author Jeffrey Haas, to discuss the transcendental art of translating social justices issues into verse and the U.S. government's execution of Black Panther Fred Hampton, who was gunned down in his sleep on Dec. 4, 1969.

Viewers and listeners are treated to powerful audio clips from our recent collaboration with Color Of Change, the nation's largest online racial justice group, titled 'America's Reckoning: Is A Change Gonna Come?' and 'Black Ops: The U.S. Government's Ongoing Demonization of Black Activism,' featuring incendiary hip-hop from News Beat podcast's other Artist in Residence, LiKWUid.

As always, recent social justice 'News Bites' from across the globe are discussed, and News Beat's host and producer Manny Faces injects his signature brand of insightful humor into the group commentary.

Cofounder of the People's Law Office, longtime civil rights attorney Jeffrey Haas discusses his book, The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther,” and the legacy of Hampton 51 years since his murder.

"Fred and what he stood for, and the need for revolution in this country, hasn't been as clear since the '60s as it's been this summer," he tells News Beat podcast.

Silent Knight, aka SK, explains his creative process of immersion and conveyance guided by the subject matter of the particular episode he's working on. Through education, empathy and pure, unrefined talent, he filters such subjects as mass incarceration, racial inequality and so much more, through his artistic mind, deciphering pain, torment and salvation into passionate hip-hop performative prose. Silent Knight not only listen to the interviews for much-needed context but also internalizes the "pain" in the voices of our guests before recording his rhymes.

In the show's 'Question of the Day' segment, viewers were asked what they thought of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang's potential bid at New York City mayor.

Livestreamed every Friday at 1 p.m. ET via News Beat podcast's Facebook, YouTube and Twitch pages, 'This Week in Social Justice' collides social justice news and incredible insights from extraordinary guests, with viewer thoughts, commentary and original hip-hop, to illuminate and incite.

Among other issues we discussed:

  • Google's controversial ousting of African American Timnit Gebru, who helped lead Google's Ethical Artificial Intelligence team, after she tried to raise awareness about inequalities in how the global tech giant treated employees of color. Her dismissal always raises red flags about the disturbing (and truly horrifying) emerging racial bias of facial recognition software being deployed across the country.
  • Watchdog groups around the world commemorated International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10 by publishing various reports and compilations to raise awareness about a long list of worthy causes. We single out two: "Inspiring Stories" by Human Rights Watch, and "White Paper on Global Journalism" by the International Federation of Journalists. The latter reporting that 42 journalists were killed so far in 2020 while simply trying to broadcast the truth to the public, 13 of those deaths in Mexico.
  • The Trump administration continued its controversial fast-tracking of capital punishment, executing death row inmate Brandon Bernard in Indiana, despite public pleas for amnesty by a majority of jury members who convicted him, celebrities, and even a former prosecutor on his case. Bernard was 18 when he torched the bodies of Todd and Stacie Bagley following their abduction and murder by four Texas gang members more than two decades ago. His was the ninth federal execution of the year, in the first series of executions during a presidential lame-duck period in 130 years. 

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Please be sure to subscribe, rate and review us wherever you listen to podcasts—Apple, Spotify, Stitcher—and visit for all our previous episodes and unique blend of social justice journalism and independent hip hop.

For more, watch 'This Week In Social Justice,' featuring Hip-Hop maestro Silent Knight & Civil Rights Attorney Jeffrey Haas.

Topics: civil liberties

News Beat is an award-winning social justice podcast melding independent, hard-hitting journalism with original music from independent artists.

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