Monday, November 3, 2014

Suggestions for the BAT Teachers Congress Part 2: We need Great Musicians and a Party Atmosphere


One of the reasons the BAT Teachers March was so successful was that it had a Party atmosphere as well as a serious purpose. It featured rappers, dancers, poets, a flash mob and a house band as well as speakers. It tried to recreate the joy that was being pushed out of our classrooms by the policies of the US Department of Education.

Now a Teachers Congress is not exactly the same thing as a March. This event will feature panels, meetings, organizing sessions all with a very serious purpose, over several days.

But still, given the beating teachers are taking daily around the nation, we need to make this event seas joyous as well as purposeful and one way to do this is having progressive musicians who share our message, especially musicians who come from Communities of Color, perform at the Congress and even participate in Workshops.

The following are some musicians I know personally who would be a good fit for the Congress, Please suggest others

Rebel Diaz- the hip hop duo from Chicago, now living in the Bronx who has performed all over the world fighting for workers rights, and the rights of immigrants and indigenous peoples, and created the amazing song
"Chicago Teacher"

Jasiri X- A brilliant rapper from Pittsburgh who has been in the forefront of struggles against racial profiling, police violence, and the incarceration of youth of color

Akua Naru: A feminist rapper, whose song "the Journey" is one of the most powerful evocation of Black women's experience in the US ever recorded. and who has many other powerful songs which depict the struggles of Black women to find their voice

Tom Morillo: The guitar genius behind Rage Against the Machine who performed regularly for the Occupy Movement. ( who I don't know personally)

It we could get all four of these artists involved, the Congress would vastly expand its appeal.