Chuck D: Black History Month Speaking Tour/Box Set

Wrote Special Introduction To New Let Freedom Sing: Music of the Civil Rights Movement
Box Set and Appears in Companion Documentary Airing on TVOne February 15

Chuck D
Music icon and political activist Chuck D will make a number of appearances at colleges throughout the country during Black History Month holding lectures on the subjects of racism, culture, and the power of knowledge. He also is featured in a new box set, Let Freedom Sing: Music of the Civil Rights Movement (for which he wrote a special introduction) and in a companion documentary that will air on TVOne on February 15.

Let Freedom Sing: The Music of the Civil Rights Movement (Time Life) is a critically acclaimed cross-section of the music that inspired the movement. Released on January 27, the Los Angeles Times noted that "This collection would be a remarkable document anytime, but it is especially powerful when heard in the light of the inauguration of Barack Obama." The 58-song set includes artists as renowned as James Brown, Billie Holiday and The Impressions alongside iconic songs "When Do I Get to Be Called a Man" by Big Bill Broonzy, "Cryin' in the Streets" by George Perkins and a previously unreleased song by Nat King Cole called "We Are Americans Too." But, as the Los Angeles Times also observed, the set also includes rare items, many of them unheard since the earliest days of the movement.

A companion documentary, Let Freedom Sing, traces the interaction among the music, the movement and the people involved. It begins in the era between the wars when segregation was often brutally enforced in Southern states, and when jazz and blues evolved from songs sung by African-Americans in church and in the fields. The documentary features never-before-seen footage from the 1960's, while tracing the influence of Civil Rights-inspired music around the world and revealing the enduring impact it retains on today's popular music. The film includes interviews with musicians, civil rights activists, music industry executives, historians and others involved in the movement, including Chuck D, former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, Quincy Jones, actress Ruby Dee, influential musicians Pete Seeger, Gladys Knight, Jimmy Carter and the Blind Boys of Alabama, Ruth Brown, Jerry Butler, Isaac Hayes and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) co-founder Dr. Bernard Lafayette.

TV One will premiere the documentary during Black History Month on Sunday, February 15 from 8-10 p.m. ET (repeating at midnight), and Time Life will subsequently release the film on DVD later this year. Selected portions of Chuck D's interview available right here:

As leader and co-founder of legendary rap group Public Enemy, Chuck D redefined rap music and hip-hop culture. His lyrics addressed weighty issues about race, rage and inequality with a jolting combination of intelligence and eloquence never seen before. He has hosted his own segment on the Fox News Channel, published a best-selling autobiography, "Fight The Power," is a highly-sought after speaker on the college lecture circuit (lecturing at the universities ranging from Harvard to Howard), has been a prominent member of music industry non-profit organizations MusicCares and Rock The Vote (which honored him with the Patrick Lippert Award in 1996 for his contributions to community service), served as national spokesperson for Rock The Vote, the National Urban League and the National Alliance of African American Athletes, and appeared in public service announcements for HBO's campaign for national peace and Partnership for a Drug Free America. In 2004, Chuck signed on to co-host a show on the ambitious Air America radio network, where he continues to host a weekly program. 2006 found him at the helm of two television specials, one on Muhammad Ali for ESPN (with Chuck hosting the show as well as writing and performing an original song) which was nominated for a sports Emmy, and another on the Sundance Channel, where Chuck interviewed Quincy Jones for Chuck D's Musicians Studio.

Chuck D Lecture Tour:
02.04 Tacoma, WA University of Puget Sound
02.10 Tuscaloosa, AL University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa
02.11 Birmingham, AL Miles College
02.17 Chicago, IL Columbia College
02.18 Gary, IN Indiana University-Northwest (tent)
02.19 Richmond, KY Eastern Kentucky University

[Published on: 2/4/09]

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ClaysTribe starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/4/2009 12:10PM
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DAMONCORY starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/4/2009 12:41PM
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The hard rhymer!

uakari starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/4/2009 12:48PM
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Believe the Hype!

mfgoof starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/4/2009 12:54PM
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I got a letter from the government, the other day. I opened and read it; it said they were suckers. They wanted me for their army or whatever. Picture me giving a damn? I said NEVER!!!

GeorgieP starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/4/2009 12:59PM
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I wonder if he's still cold lampin' with Flavor.

pornofunk starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/4/2009 03:56PM
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this guys cool as a fuckin fan

Jenny Jen Wed 2/4/2009 09:05PM
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Jenny Jen

Kudos...Would love to see KRS-One out there again, I met him at a "Temple of Hiphop" (yes, one word), gathering in Hollywood, dropped an hour 1/2 lecture on the 80's.... A-MAZE-SEEING. Believe the hype.

lovemusical Wed 2/4/2009 10:42PM
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For any fan of true hip hop, or roots music in general, Chuck D is a prophetic voice. Conscious hip hop is sorely lacking in the age of crunk, MTV mainstream shit the industry vampires think people want to hear (unfortunatley many people do, that's why it sells) The last album Public Enemy dropped pretty much sums it all up in its title: How To Sell Soul To A Souless People Who Sold Their Soul. Nuff said. Keep speakin' Chuck.

johnnyblaze36 Thu 2/5/2009 09:48AM
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I'm a huge fan of PE but what is with this "tour" if you will? The University of Puget sound? Eastern Kentucky University? No offense to any of you that may attend these establishments but I'm pretty sure there could be a lot better places to let your voice be heard. By the time I get to Arizona.

surlybuf Thu 2/5/2009 12:57PM
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Anthrax rules.

rainydaywomen420 starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/5/2009 01:03PM
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tour the deep south, places where people REALLY need to hear this. nonetheless very cool

EMHJR6762 starstarstar Thu 2/5/2009 03:57PM
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ClaysTribe Thu 2/5/2009 09:31PM
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shut up jenny jen

jrp4202 Sat 2/7/2009 12:56AM
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RACISM MAY BE "EVERYONES" PROBLEM BUT IT DOESNT EFFECT WHITE PEOPLE AS MUCH NOR AS HARSH (OVERALL) THAN IT DOES PEOPLE OF COLOR. seriously dont undermine the fact that our establishment is based on modern symbolic racism and it goes beyond most peoples eyes ears and consciousness. it is built into our system as is any other principle that this country was found on. I mean no disrespect EMHJR6762 and i agree change starts with oneself but most people dont understand that. and by the way many schools and peoples have right reasons to blame "whitey" for their misfortunes. remember the civil rights act was passed not even half a century ago. problems cant be erased that quickly.