Social Activist and Front Man for Political Hip-Hop Group The Coup
For decades, Boots Riley, musician, vocalist, writer, and public speaker, has been an integral part of the progressive struggle for radical change through culture. At a young age Boots served on the central committee for the Progressive Labor Party. He was the President of InCAR (International Committee Against Racism), and organized to build California’s Anti-Racist…
For decades, Boots Riley, musician, vocalist, writer, and public speaker, has been an integral part of the progressive struggle for radical change through culture. At a young age Boots served on the central committee for the Progressive Labor Party. He was the President of InCAR (International Committee Against Racism), and organized to build California’s Anti-Racist Farm Workers’ Union.
In 1991 Boots Riley founded the political hip hop group The Coup and with other Hip-Hop artists created the Mau Mau Rhythm Collective which put on “Hip-Hop Edutainment Concerts”. The Mau Mau Rhythm Collective was actively involved in the campaign to stop the FBI’s “Weed And Seed” program from coming to Oakland. In 1994, Boots co-founded The Young Comrades a politically oriented community group that staged free concert / rallies dedicated to working on material reform issues in Oakland.
In 2000, through his workshop on Art and Organizing, Boots Riley led a group of young artists to create “Guerilla Hip-Hop Concerts” on a flatbed truck, which traveled throughout Oakland to protest California’s Proposition 21. The workshop also distributed tens of thousands free cassettes of “The Rumble”, which he called “newspapers on tape”.
Boots Riley taught a daily high school class, “Culture and Resistance: Persuasive Lyric Writing”, at the School of Social Justice and Community Development in East Oakland. In 2001, Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello invited Riley to be part of the “Tell Us the Truth Tour,” meant to shed light on alleged monopolization of the media and the coming FTAA agreements, featuring acoustic performances by Riley and others and hosted by Janeane Garofalo and Naomi Klein.
In 2009 Boots Riley and Tom Morello released the self-titled album for their band, the Street Sweeper Social Club. They toured along with Nine Inch Nails and the recently reunited Jane’s Addiction. Two songs, “100 Little Curses” and “Promenade”, from their self-titled debut received rotation on Rock radio in major markets.
Boots has appeared on Fox News’s Hannity and Colmes, PBS’s Democracy Now!, and ABC’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. He has been featured addressing a variety of subjects from music to grassroots organizing, to US imperialism and racism, recently winning awards from the AFL-CIO for his participation with the Tell Us the Truth Tour.
Riley continues to effect social change through his artistic and political work.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Boots Riley
Dope Era Magazine Exclusive Interview With Boots Riley
Boots Riley: We are the Bomb
1 HOUR OR LESS