Occupy Movement and the Economy

‘Occupy the Hood’

Black Protesters Start Chapter to Educate, Diversify OWS

By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

This week, Colorlines reported on the top six American cities in which Blacks and Latinos are living in poverty that rivals that of the Great Depression. If there was ever a time to rebel against Wall Street, it’s now. Yet many have observed that the OWS proceedings have been largely white, or at the very least devoid of the kind of diversity that makes New York City great. Now, two Queens men hope to change that by starting Occupy the Hood—a solidarity group that means to educate poor Blacks and Latinos as to why a successful OWS will have the most significant impact on their communities. Loop21 reports:

“Founded by Malik Rhasaan, 39 of Queens, N.Y., and Ife Johari Uhuru, 35, based in Detroit, @OccupyTheHood has close to 3,500 followers on Twitter, the growing support of notable figures and a cadre of volunteers devoted to getting the word out about the cause of the protests to African Americans and Latinos.

“Rhasaan told Loop21, Occupy The Hood has six core volunteers, but he’s already seen ‘Occupy The Hood’ carried by people he’s never met

“Like many others, he was initially just curious about the protests.

“‘It was a news story and I’ve always been interested in what’s going on in our country,’ Rhassan said via phone from the protests, where a police officer had asked him to move along. ‘I was just going down and really, just being nosy to see how honest it was. I realized there was a solid movement but that there weren’t enough black and Latinos.’”

@OccupytheHood is Rhassan’s first Twitter account, and since he created it he has linked with thousands of followers, including Cornel West. He said he wants to use the account “as a springboard to address other things, whether it be crime or health issues in our communities. But we in the inner-city don’t know how this pertains to us. We don’t tie our issues to Wall Street.” To get involved email

AlterNet, October 14, 2011