A Hip-Hop Salute to Coretta Scott King: Continuing the Struggle
for Freedom, Justice and Equality
February 8, 2006
Across America and throughout the world, millions of people have
taken the time to say a prayer, to utter a word of condolence, or to make
some expression of gratitude for the living legacy of Coretta Scott King.
Like the living legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mrs. Kings
life-longed contributions to the freedom struggle now stand as a living
testimony to the oneness of humanity and to the transcendent power of Gods
love. Today the hip-hop generation of youth inherits and appreciates the
progress, sacrifices and remaining challenges of the civil rights generation
in word, deed and spirit.
In the wake of the tremendous public outpouring of support and
solemn respect for the King family and the effective movement that they led,
we did not want this historic moment to past without offering a sincere
salute to Coretta Scott King from the perspective of hip-hop culture. In her
elegant and dignified manner, Mrs. King lived the life of a freedom
fighter in her own right. She was an outspoken leader who was not afraid
to raise her voice against injustice. She consistently refused to bow down
to the temptations of a world gone mad with poverty, war and ignorance.
The poetry of hip-hop captures the essence of the continuing
struggle for freedom, justice and equality. When Dr. King and Coretta Scott
King were a young married couple, they both had high aspirations and
resolute faith that The Movement would eventually overcome the evils of
that day and time. The good news is that todays youth have those same high
aspirations for a better quality of life and a resolute determination not to
be satisfied with an impoverished mindset or living condition.
Now young people all over the world are reaching out to one
another in solidarity through the music and other cultural manifestations of
hip-hop that transcend the racial and social divisions of the past. The
legacy of the civil rights era connects directly with the resilience and
recommitment of this new emerging force for change and empowerment.
We will not forget the wisdom and perseverance of Mrs. King and all of the
other elders of the struggle. We mourn her passing, but we celebrate her
dedicated life and example. We know the importance of speaking truth to the
powerful in behalf of the powerless. May the words of mouth and the
meditations of our heart be acceptable in the sight and presence of God. May
God bless the living legacy of Coretta Scott King.
Russell Simmons, Co-Chairman
Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Co-Chairman
Hip-Hop Summit Action Network