Talib Kweli Explains Connection Between The U.S. Prison System & Slavery


(AllHipHop News) Either through his music, community activism, or interviews, Brooklyn emcee Talib Kweli has always been open to address political issues. Kweli once again confronted tough social topics during a sit down with the international RT network.

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During the discussion, the Black Star member spoke on his decision to not vote in every election and the importance of giving back to his community. Kweli also focused on what he sees as the troubles with the prison-industrial complex in the United States.

“Just from my perception being a young, black man growing in up Brooklyn, prison and the prison-industrial complex seems to be one of the biggest drains on society. It seems to be a problem that you can have a direct effect on with grassroots activism and even possibly voting,” said Kweli.

The conversation then turned to African-American prison statistics mentioned in Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow. The “New Leaders” rapper goes on to make a connection between the American prison system and slavery.

“Prison is for profit. [In] America, a small group of people get rich off of imprisoning people,” explained Kweli. “This is a country that was built on slave labor. It’s sort of like the backbone of this country. We have a value system that celebrates giving people nothing and extracting everything from them. Because of it we’ve become the greatest country in the world, so when slavery was ended America naturally formed a replacement for slavery.”

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Watch Talib Kweli’s interview below.