Mos Def Challenges BET, Oprah, and Obama to Pay Tribute to Executed Prisoner Troy Davis

Categories: News, Video
Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez
On September 21, 2011, at 11:08 p.m. in Jackson, Georgia, a death row inmate named Troy Davis, convicted 20 years ago for the murder of off-duty Savannah policeman Mark MacPhail, was executed by lethal injection.

For decades, though, Davis, his supporters, and many justice advocates had proclaimed the prisoner's innocence. And in the final weeks leading up to his scheduled execution, celebrities and rap stars helped lead a last-minute push to save Davis's life, even pleading with President Obama to personally intervene. However, the Supreme Court denied any stay of execution. Obama did not act. And Davis's time ran out.

But last night, halfway through the Black Star show at the Fillmore Miami Beach, Mos Def paused between songs to challenge the BET Hip-Hop Awards, Oprah, and Obama to pay tribute to the recently executed death row inmate.

"The BET Awards are happenin' in Atlanta, Georgia, apparently this weekend on Saturday, right?," Def said. "I'm making a strong, serious recommendation and suggestion.

"In the interest of humanity and the rights of human beings all over God's spaceship, Earth," he continued while Talib Kweli stood with his arms crossed, nodding his approval, "if you are doing or hosting this event in Atlanta, Georgia, right after this young man, Troy Davis, was brutally murdered, in public for the whole world to see, you should definitely dedicate one part of your show.

"If it's the opening, the beginning, the middle, or the end ... Bring his mama out there, show her your support and show her some words of comfort and encouragement.

"This is not the moment for your silence, BET! Or anybody else! And that goes to every peep from Oprah to Obama: When you get a free moment, call Troy Davis mama!"

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Location Info


The Fillmore Miami Beach

1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Music

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Very cool gesture.. very good of him to raise awareness about this... But Troy Davis' mom passed away, didn't she? Also.. whether it was done in public or away from the public sphere... it doesn't take away from the unjust act. I guess what he means by " in public for the whole world to see" is that they did it with such audacity.. they pretty much told the world, the US specifically, that their opinion doesn't count... and that this will be done the way they want to do it... doubt or no doubt.


lol whut wuz up with the carribean accent he did while talking though???? 


Yes, his mom did pass away. Part of the problem with the death penalty, and the struggle to end it, is that people don't act/care/get involved and vocal until it's too late...most people didn't notice or care about this case until the press came in strong. Nice gesture by Mos Def, no doubt. More importantly though, celebrity figures like Mos Def should be moved to join a sustained movement to end the death penalty and work to raise awareness for all the people subject to state sanctioned execution..even when it's done out of the full view of the public. One of the very few benefits of celebrity is the power to influence. Here's hoping that all the people enraged by this ONE act of state violence will move beyond a temporary, sentimental outrage to a sustained commitment to bring an end to the COUNTLESS acts of state sanctioned violence that will undoubtedly follow in the wake of Troy Davis' death if we go silent once more.

Lisa-Marie  Caesar
Lisa-Marie Caesar

There is no such thing as a carribean accent. There are islands in the west indies that all have there own unique accents just as you do.

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