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Al Sharpton Says Corporations, Hip-Hop Artists & Civil Rights Leaders Need To Work Together

PepsiCo Meeting

(AllHipHop News) Earlier today Al Sharpton, the President of National Action Network, and the family of Emmett Till met with PepsiCo officials. Sharpton and the Till family wanted to address the parent company of Mountain Dew about the corporation’s connection to the Hip-Hop and civil rights communities.

[ALSO READ: PepsiCo To Meet With Emmett Tills Family & Al Sharpton]

After the meeting Rev. Sharpton issued a statement:

The meeting today with PepsiCo representatives, the family of Emmett Till, and me at corporate headquarters was a positive meeting. PepsiCo apologized to the family again and they accepted while agreeing with me that this is a “teachable moment” and we must work with younger Hip-Hop artists so they know their civil rights history and become more engaged in the community. National Action Network (NAN) doesn’t want the end result to be the penalization of artists-although they clearly need to be corrected–but rather them becoming more engaged and conscientious of civil rights history. We agreed to work as partners to try and sit down with younger hip-hop artists, corporate executives, and people in the civil rights community.

Last week, Mountain Dew cut professional ties with rapper Lil Wayne after the Young Money leader faced criticism for his controversial lyrics that referenced Emmett Till in the song “Karate Chop (Remix).”

The Till family had asked for an apology from Wayne. Wayne gave a statement acknowledging the family’s pain, but they rejected Wayne’s letter as a “non-apology.”

It appears after today’s sit down, PepsiCo, the Till family, and the National Action Network are ready to move forward from this controversy and join together with Hip-Hop artists to further the discussion of the importance of Emmett Till’s legacy and the history of the civil rights movement.

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