LOS ANGELES An upcoming benefit show featuring Mos Def, Jurassic 5 and Dilated Peoples will raise money to help cover the legal fees of Muslim cleric and former Black Panther Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, who is accused of shooting a police officer.
Rapper Planet Asia and hip-hop/dance group Zion I will also perform at the "Hip Hop for Consciousness" benefit on May 12 at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee Center.
Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, is awaiting trial in Georgia's Fulton County Jail for a March 2000 shootout that left one sheriff's deputy dead and another wounded. Al-Amin's supporters say he was framed.
As H. Rap Brown in the 1960's, Al-Amin was Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Minister of Justice for the Black Panther Party. He converted to Islam during the '70s while in prison for robbery and assault. He moved to Atlanta following his release and founded a mosque in the West End district, where he worked to clear the community of drugs and broker harmony among rival gangs.