Rappers Take Leading Role in Local Michael Brown Rallies
Thursday afternoon, a call to arms occurred in Houston following the mass protest in Ferguson, Mo. after an unarmed black teenager was shot dead by a police officer last weekend. The announcement was peaceful, urging two separate protests and demonstrations of unity within the community.
Photos by Marco Torres Hoodstar Chantz (in red) at Thursday's Discovery Green rally
The first, put together by Houston rapper Hoodstar Chantz, drew a respectable crowd despite the short notice. An image created by the rapper circulated on Instagram and Twitter, urging people to come out to Discovery Green.
"Peace For Justice Houston will not be us standing outside holding sins screaming we want peace," Chantz said in a caption. "Its [sic] basically a get together for ANYONE who wants to understand how we can actually make change in our country and how we plan on going about that mission. NO IGNORANCE OR VIOLENCE IS INVOLVED WHAT SO EVER."
Chantz's message, along with the larger National Moment of Silence gathering later at MacGregor Park, called for unity in the community. Rappers such as OneHunnidt, Stockz and Doughbeezy joined Chantz at MacGregor Park following the conclusion of Peace For Justice gathering.
The NMOS gathering was spurned by another call via social media, one that went global with public demonstrations in London, New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Chicago and other cities. Houston Press reporter and photographer Marco Torres was on hand at Discovery Green, noticing the crowd increasing as time progressed.
"Once I put it out there, I got calls from people who have lost family members to police violence," Chantz told him.
Data from the Houston Police Department shows that there have been 100 fatal shootings involving HPD officers and 136 fatal shootings involving Harris County Sheriff's Deputies in the last ten years alone.
"I feel like we have to hold the torch to get the voice of the underground rap culture & our listeners involved," OneHunnidt stated in a series of tweets during the event. "We have to become responsible. We have to become proactive. Look in the mirror."
Since the shooting, numerous rappers have been vocal on social media, expressing condolences and frustration with not only the death of Brown but many others like him over the years.
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