M1 of Dead Prez, aka Mutulu Olugabala, is one of half of the rap duo dead prez, M-1 and his partner stic.man have been hitting hard with albums like Let’s Get Free, Turn Off the Radio Vol.1, Turn Off the Radio Vol.2: Get Free or Die Trying, RGB: Revolutionary But Gangsta, and Information Age. He also organized and became the local president of the Brooklyn Chapter of the National Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. In addition, Olugabala has worked with Friends and Family of Mumia-Abu Jamal, the Hands Off Assata organization, and participates in the annual Black August Celebration.
The focus of the presentation will be the examination of the relationship between the black revolutionaries that split from the civil rights movement in the early 1960’s, thus forming the group that would become the Black Panthers, to international movements that evolved from these roots including Hip Hop. The discussion will explore the relationship between organizations like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); the black leaders who were spied on, infiltrated, and assassinated by the FBI under COINTELPRO; the Black Liberation Army (the most underground aspect of the Black Panther movement) and its leaders in prison, including Russell Maroon Shoatz – former Black Panther and BLA member; the current transition of gangs and street organizations like the Bloods, Latin Kings, & Crips as they evolve into viable political organizations; and the resurgence of interest in the Black Power movement, abolition of the Prison Industrial complex and the death penalty, as well as campaigns to free political prisoners in the US. The audience will also be introduced to the stories of BPP members from past and present including Fred Hampton Jr., Deborah Johnson aka Akua Njeri (Fred Hampton Jr’s mother and widow of Fred Hampton), Assata Shakur (now in political exile in Cuba), Willie Mukassa Ricks who coined the term “Black Power”, Stokely Carmichael (aka Kwame Ture) and Omali Yeshitela, founder of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.
This is a powerful eye opening lecture that approaches its subject from a very sober viewpoint.
M1 and Dead Prez have been featured in The Source, Vibe, XXL, Stress, Murder Dog, Blaze, The Village Voice and more for their music and work in the struggle.