Friday, January 6, 2012

Magic Johnson Teams Up With Rappers to Address Homophobia in Hip Hop

via GLAAD Blog, by Kimberley McLeod

NBA legend and HIV/AIDS advocate Magic Johnson plans to continue educating the African American community about HIV and hopes to also address anti-gay attitudes in hip hop.

Johnson recently spoke with The Huffington Post about a new project he's developing with rappers to rally against homophobia:

As a hip-hop fan, you realize that homophobia is still an issue everywhere, but especially in the black community. When people are scared to talk about it, that's how the disease spreads. So what have you been doing to get that risk reduced?

What we're trying to do is reach out to the hip-hop community because they have power — power with their voice, power with that mic in their hand and power with the lyrics that they sing. I have a lot of friends in that industry and so what we're trying to do is rally them to get behind the cause, deliver the message to these young people that HIV and AIDS is big and it's not going anywhere. They can make a difference right away by speaking out, because they have a big fan base.

So we're finding out that a lot of them want to be involved; they're just looking for a group like ours to latch onto and be a part of it. We haven't really had any push-back from the hip-hop community.
He is currently in talks with various performers and plans on announcing their names at a press conference this year.

“It's so important that we rally — not just them, either,” he adds. “I need the hip-hop community but I also need the basketball players and football players. We need a little bit of everybody…”

GLAAD commends Magic Johnson for leading this important initiative and will post updates as details about the project become public.

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