Twenty years ago, hip-hop artist/activist KRS-One wrote an inspiring op-ed in The New York Times called "A Survival Curriculum for Inner City Kids," in which he addressed the city's failings to take care of its most needy. In the article, he also mentioned how he'd spent many of his formative years in the 1970s in homeless shelters around the city and was essentially an auto-didact, who educated himself in public libraries.
Fittingly, 20 years later, KRS-One will be aligning with one of his former shelters, The Bowery Mission, this Thanksgiving to serve meals to thousands of the City's homeless.
"I am participating in The Bowery Mission's Thanksgiving food drive and event because I myself was once homeless, walking these very streets, and spending time with these wonderful people at The Bowery Mission," said the legendary rapper. "I depended on them to survive. I am showing up for Thanksgiving this year to not only lend a hand, but hope that I am may inspire others in the hip-hop community to consider their role towards helping the homeless, and join me by helping those in your community that need help during this holiday season."
The Bowery Mission and KRS-One will serve meals to over 3,000 people at the Mission at 227 Bowery (between Prince and Rivington Streets) on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26), from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"I chose the Bowery Mission because it epitomizes the spirit of true human resources, love, care and compassion," said KRS. "I have stayed at many shelters were you are called 'the client' and the administration made you feel like a prisoner in a system. At the Bowery Mission, you feel at home. Homelessness is a pandemic, and most people do not realize the severity of the situation. You may be homeless one day yourself. I urge the hip-hop nation to live up to the true nature of our culture and give."
For more info about The Bowery Mission, people are invited to text to DOTORG (368674) and then enter the word "BOWERY." Or, visit their website at Bowery.org.
As a further testament to his self-education, KRS-One has just released his second book, Gospel of Hip Hop: First Instrument, an 800-plus-page spiritual manual for citizens of hip-hop kulture.
The book is set in the format of a self-help book. It combines classic philosophy with faith and practical knowledge for a fascinating, in-depth exploration of hip-hop as a life path.