Musician, poet and champion of social justice Michael Franti will give a free public lecture and concert at theUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. The event, sponsored by the UAB departments of Anthropology and Social Work, is open to the public and will take place at 7:30 p.m. at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South.
Franti’s concert is one of several events in the UABCollege of Arts and Sciences’ Civil Rights Commemorative series, as well as a part of the UAB and City of Birmingham partnership, 50 Years Forward, the ongoing 50th anniversary commemoration of the seminal events of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
Franti is the founder and lead singer of Michael Franti and Spearhead. The band has recorded seven studio albums and achieved critical acclaim for its socially conscious tunes that marry hip-hop with funk, reggae, jazz, folk and rock.
The band’s 2000 album “Stay Human” is a politically charged compilation that focuses on human rights issues such as the death penalty and corporate globalization. “Yell Fire!,” released in 2006, was inspired by Franti’s trip to Israel, Baghdad, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
“All Rebel Rockers” was released in 2008 and was largely recorded at the Anchor studio in St. Andrew, Jamaica. The single “Say Hey (I Love You)” reached No. 18 on Billboard’s U.S. Hot 100. The group’s most recent album, “The Sound of Sunshine,” was recorded in 2010 and features 12 tracks, including two versions of the title track and the hit single “Shake It.”
Heralded as a social activist, Franti received the 2001 Domestic Human Rights Award from Global Exchange. In addition, he supports a number of organizations, including CARE, War Child International, Amnesty International and Common Ground Relief.
Franti is also the founder of Power to the Peaceful, the largest free public music event in California, with a mission to unite communities and organizations to foster peace.
For a complete listing of the College of Arts and Science’s commemorative events, visitwww.uab.edu/civilrights.