Radical Oakland rapper and activist Boots Riley, best known for directing 2018’s trippy, anti-capitalist satire-tour de force “Sorry to Bother You,” is coming to Homewood next month.
Johns Hopkins University’s Foreign Affairs Symposium announced this week that Riley will visit Shriver Hall on April 2 to talk about his career in film, activism, music and more. Riley joins a lineup of others who’ve visited this semester, including Afro-Colombian human right activist Erlendy Cuero Bravo, Iranian-American poet Solmaz Sharif, ICAN executive director Beatrice Fihn, or are still planning to as part of the symposium’s protest-centric “Disrupt” series.
Beyond directing “Sorry to Bother You,” about a newly ambitious Oakland telemarketer who reckons with ridiculous exploitation and corporate greed at work, Riley has made his name as a community organizer, famously during the 2011 Occupy Oakland protests and, just this month, in the Oakland teacher strikes.
He’s also a leader of the political rap group The Coup, which he co-founded in 1991 and has put out six albums, including “Sorry to Bother You” in 2012 (based off of Riley’s original screenplay), as well as the soundtrack for his feature film last year. Riley also wrote the 2015 lyric and philosophy collection “Tell Homeland Security-We Are the Bomb,” released by radical nonprofit publisher Haymarket Books, among other books.
The event is free and open to the general public, though the symposium is selling reserved tickets here starting March 27. The auditorium opens at 7:30 p.m. on April 2.
Latest posts by Ethan McLeod (see all)
- Tuesday Morning Headlines: Pigtown bar going to auction; Council president comes to bat for former attacker in court; and more - July 16, 2019
- Monday Afternoon Headlines: Man convicted of murdering ex-girlfriend whose body was found on bleachers; Massive barn fire in Howard County; and more - July 15, 2019
- Baltimore is under a Code Red heat alert for the rest of the week - July 15, 2019