It is Hip-Hop History Month, each November. Celebrated globally, Seaspot guest columnist and Temple of Hip-Hop minister, Zin Uru shares his perspective on the Hip-Hop Declaration of Peace. Minista Zin Uru is a protege and apprentice to The Teacha’, KRS-ONE and has served The Temple since 2004.
The Hip Hop Declaration of Peace (A Brief Introduction)
by: Minista Zin Uru
Know This: “On May 16th 2001, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, 300 Hip Hop pioneers, artists, activists, authors, government officials and Temple Members, along with a variety of ministers, philosophers, and students; gathered at the Delegates Dining Room for the revealing and signing of the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace.”
“The Hip Hop Declaration of Peace, presented to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (U.N.E.S.C.O.), Ribbons International, Peace Action, New York’s City Hall and the Riverside Church in New York serves as an empowering code of conduct for all Hiphoppas in our quest to further establish our Hip Hop nation.” (Excerpt from The Gospel of Hip Hop presented by our Teacha KRS-One)
Peace and much Love this is Minista Zin Uru reaching out to the entire Hip Hop Community worldwide !! Contrary to public opinion, what a great time it is to be alive !! We are in a time of great change as old paradigms give way to new ways of thinking, living and being. For those of us aware of the deeper nature of these times, we stay in awe and respect of the work that is happening that we are fortunate enough to be a part of. This work that I am referring to is the collective work of our ancestors and elders who have paved the way through education, teaching, and even the very act of laying their lives down so that we may know and experience a reality outside of what has been given to us by the colonizer/oppressor. We give thanks and praise to those individuals who made it possible for us to even consider the idea of a future city built around the timeless principles of Peace, Love, Unity and safely Having Fun.
For those of you new to the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace, I invite you to obtain a printed copy of the text so that you may take the time to properly read, meditate and develop an overstanding of this historic document. For those of you already familiar with the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace I offer you this challenge; to push it forward, to teach and inspire others through its wisdom and application. We must remember that all of the great knowledge and wisdom that has been passed on to us by our elders and ancestors for us to put to USE !! These eighteen principles are for our community to put to USE and develop so that WE may create and live in a future that is worthy to be governed by such high moral character.
When I first heard about the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace back in the summer of 2004 I was at a friends house surfing the internet and came across this amazing document. It instantly gained my full attention. As a matter of fact that very week I went out and got my first computer so I could get online and study more about it. For me, I immediately recognized the importance and significance of such a declaration. Reading the text for the first time brought me a sense of relief as well as purpose. I was already aware of the social and economic injustices in the United States of America and longed for a better society. The Hip Hop Declaration of Peace echoes the very thoughts, words and actions of so many revolutionary thinkers, artist and activists. Inspirational men and women like Chuck D, Bob Marley, Malcom X, Shirley Chisholm, John Trudell, The Black Panthers, John Lennon, The Berkley Student Unions of the 60’s, KRS-One, John Brown, Bruce Lee, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King and so many more.
As the words of the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace began to sink deeper and deeper into my conscious awareness, it felt as if the works of so many freedom fighters had come together in this one unique, coherent document. A document that unites us past the illusions of race, gender, age, sex and materialism. Energized with my new found inspiration I began to share its wisdom with those around me only to find that they were not interested and did not rely care. Although disheartening this was nothing new. Anytime a truly revolutionary idea is presented it can take years even decades to be appreciated and properly overstood. I suppose in some way this is exactly how all great ideas should be. From this perspective a seed is a tree that is ahead of its time. And now over sixteen years later, we can see this seed has taken root and began to grow in the hearts and minds of many all around the world. From Columbia to France, from Toronto to Nigeria, from Sydney to the United Kingdom the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace has been taught. And there is still so much more that we need to do !!
We live in such a fast paced world that everything is expected instantly, instant soup, instant credit, instant friends, and instant gratification. We often times fail to recognize and realize that all great things in life take time to develop. Imagine how long it takes to create a great bottle of whine. The craft, the care and dedication as well as the knowledge, love and skill that must go into each bottle. How long the vines take to mature over generations, how much energy from the Earth and Sun goes into each grape. All the manpower of cultivation, distillation and bottling. All of this must take place before a great bottle of whine is ready to be enjoyed. The point being is that all worthy things take time, especially those things and events that are considered monumental and great. It is evident that the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace is special, monumental and great, and I believe that in our lifetime it will continue to grow into the legacy that those pioneers and elders envisioned on that day in May.
In closing I would like to reiterate the challenge for all of us to push this document forward in our daily lives and educate our Hip Hop community about the importance of the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace. As the face of the World is changing and appears to be in a great time of turmoil, it is our collective responsibility to rally around the timeless principles laid down by our elders and ancestors. It is clear now that in a society of such gross injustice WE must learn to govern ourselves through non-violent conflict resolution so that we may experience the UNITY that GOD desires for us. We cannot continue to mimic the inhumane, violent an unethical patterns of the oppressors government. We must have a higher moral code and character than our captors if we are to ever truly know collective freedom. The Hip Hop Declaration of Peace is the first step towards our victory. It is time for us to mature and grow into the mighty nation we have been called to become !! There it is.
Seaspot welcomes Minista Zin Uru to our family of thinkers, writers and voices. Zin Uru, is a minister of the Temple of Hip-Hop and has recently relocated from California, now calling Portland, Oregon home.