Middle East studies in the News
Lauryn Hill Appears in Black-Palestinian Solidarity Video [incl. Noura Erakat]
by Amy Kuperinsky
New Jersey singer Lauryn Hill can be seen in a video espousing black-Palestinian solidarity.
"When I See Them, I See Us," released today, features a brief appearance from Hill alongside performing artists and activists including Cornel West, Angela Davis, Danny Glover, Palestinian hip-hop group DAM and Alice Walker.
Participants in the video hold up signs carrying messages including "Gaza stands with Baltimore" and "solidarity from Ferguson to Palestine."
Hill does not speak in the video but it includes a photo of her holding a sign that says "free all political prisoners."
"Every 28 hours a black life is stolen by police or vigilantes in the U.S," the video begins, using several narrators. "Every two hours a Palestinian child was killed in Israel's attack on Gaza last summer."
The video is produced by Noura Erakat, a Palestinian attorney and activist who is an assistant professor of legal studies, international studies and human rights at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. She came up with the idea in the summer of 2014, when the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. after the shooting death of Michael Brown was unfolding at the same time as the Israel-Gaza conflict.
"We choose to join one another in resistance not because our struggles are the same but because we each struggle against the formidable forces of structural racism and the carceral and lethal technologies deployed to maintain them," a statement on the website says. "This video intends to interrupt that process – to assert our humanity – and to stand together in an affirmation of life and a commitment to resistance. From Ferguson to Gaza, from Baltimore to Jerusalem, from Charleston to Bethlehem, we will be free."
In May, Hill, 40, who hails from South Orange, canceled a concert that was scheduled to take place in Israel, south of Tel Aviv, saying she made the decision because she couldn't schedule another show in Ramallah, a Palestinian city.
"It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans," Hill had said in a statement.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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