What is big and green with people all over it?
West Oakland's DeFremery Park Saturday when hip-hop artist/movie star Mos Def headlines the "red, black and GREEN" outdoor concert, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Joining His Defness at the Living Word Festival are Oakland-based Los Rakas, whose rhythms and rhymes reflect the duo's Panamanian heritage, and DJ Leydis.
The theme of Saturday's event is "eco-equity," a push to include poor communities and people of color in the "green economy" of creating a cleaner environment, jobs and wealth from ecologically sound technology and projects.
That extends to a cousin of hip-hop — graffiti. Throughout DeFremery Park, 20 contestants will be going head-to-head in the Estria Invitational Living Word Graffiti Battle, sponsored by Samurai Graffix and Hard Knock Radio. The challengers' task is to come up with green-themed graffiti-style tags on 6-foot-by-8-foot canvases using eco-friendly materials and paint. The work will be sold at a silent auction to benefit Youth Speaks, the sponsoring organization.
The day also includes Bamboo Architecture, a program that teaches youths about the environmental durability of bamboo. Participants will build bamboo structures that will be displayed in November at the San Francisco Green Festival.
The multiday event is part of the Living Word Project, the performance-art arm of San Francisco-based Youth Speaks, whose acclaimed artistic director, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, uses dance, music, and film to address social issues.
Now in its seventh year, the Living Word festival begins Friday at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, with performances and workshops focused around the theme: "Race is Fiction." An outdoor concert follows with Oakland-based singer Goapele, Urban World NYC and The Kev Choice Ensemble performing at 12:30 p.m. in the Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco.
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The Living Word Festival begins 10 a.m. Friday at the Museum of the African Diaspora; workshops and performances co-hosted by SF Green Festival, Global Exchange, and Grind for the Green. Concert at 12:30 p.m. in the Yerba Buena Gardens, 760 Howard St., San Francisco, with Goapele, Urban Word NYC and The Kev Choice Ensemble. Saturday is the "red black and GREEN" environmental caucus and concert from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at DeFremery Park, 1651 Adeline St., featuring Mos Def, Los Rakas, and DJ Leydis. Also, second annual Living Word Graffiti Battle, Bamboo Architecture and "Against Eco-Apartheid" speaker series. For details and a full list of events, visit www.youthspeaks.org or call 415-255-9035.