24 HOURS OF PEACE: Newark, New Jersey Merges Hip-Hop and Community To Take Back Its Streets


(AllHipHop News) In just one 24-hour period in 2011, 12 people were gunned down in Newark, New Jersey, leaving four dead and eight wounded, including a young boy. Before and since then, the city’s leaders – including representatives from the Hip-Hop community – have rallied together to find solutions to end “Brick City’s” senseless acts of violence.

Again this year, Newark City Councilman, educator, and activist Ras Baraka and co-hosts will spearhead the outdoor “24 Hours of Peace, Occupy Clinton Avenue” event, today (August 24) from 6PM until 6PM on Saturday.

“We’re trying to promote peace and community togetherness…We need to do it in a dramatic force to dramatize how serious this issue is for us,” said Councilman Ras Baraka in August 2011, with just days leading up to the First Annual 24 Hours of Peace Rally.

Organizers hope to use the arts – music, spoken word, dance, poetry, and film to promote their “Time Out” message and serve as a model to other cities that are facing rising violence. For 24 hours, Newark hopes to curb its neighborhood warfare in a symbolic gesture of unity, bringing together parents, children, artists, business owners, faith based, and community based organizations for a block party-style gathering.

Leaning on their influence and power to convey messages to young people, the longtime Hip-Hop community in Newark is getting involved, too. In a community that has spawned artists such as Redman, Rah Digga, Hakim Green and Channel Live, Naughty By Nature, Lords of the Underground, and many more, event planners said Hip-Hop has always served as a collective voice for the people.

“Twenty-four hours of peace and unity is a small step in our ongoing commitment to increasing the PEACE! We are Hip-Hop and our ethic is peace, love, unity, and safely having fun,” said Hakim Green of Channel Live, who will host the event again this year.

This year’s list of artist attendees includes Tap Dance king Savion Glover; DJ Antoine Qua of 107.5 WBLS; former First Lady of Flip Mode Squad, Rah Digga; Hip-Hop legends Treach of Naughty by Nature, Do It All of Lords of the Underground, and Dres and Jarobi of EVITAN, Jersey Block Entertainment, and a bevy of local artists.

24 Hours of Peace sponsors hope the hometown star presence will be helpful again this year in shedding light on the diverse social needs of the community. According to Councilman Baraka and others, to truly make an impact, citizens across the country should call for urban violence to be addressed as a Public Health issue, making it eligible for grants and other resources.

For more info on 24 Hours of Peace, contact Amiri Baraka, Jr. at barakaa@ci.newark.nj.us.