protect black art

Industry executives Kevin Liles and Julie Greenwald have launched a petition on the Change website: ‘Rap Music on Trial: Protect Black Art‘. It’s spurred by a current investigation into artists signed to Georgia label Young Stoner Life Records, and efforts to use those artists’ lyrics as evidence in prosecutions.

“With increasing and troubling frequency, prosecutors are attempting to use rap lyrics as confessions. This practice isn’t just a violation of First Amendment protections for speech and creative expression. It punishes already marginalized communities and silences their stories of family, struggle, survival, and triumph,” claims the petition.

“This shameful and un-American practice must end. We urge the prompt adoption of legislation at the Federal and State level that would limit how prosecutors can use creative and artistic expression as evidence against defendants in criminal trials.”

At the time of writing, nearly 2,400 people have signed the petition, a few hours after its launch.

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