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September 13 , 2009

Raising Hell

A life of Activism


When one raises their voice on behalf of the voiceless, the discarded, abused, and oppressed, they may indeed catch “hell” from those in power who would cruelly prefer them to remain mute, unheard, and battered. In a story entailing his own abuse suffered in childhood and adolescence, to gang life in South Central LA., his experience through the LA civil unrest from the Rodney King verdict, and his incarceration – to his life-changing acceptance of Islam, Najee Ali’s story is one of redemption: whose past shaped him for the journey of representing the underdog. Raising Hell entails 18 behind-the-scenes accounts of his activist involvement, such as the Presidential campaign run of Reverend Jesse Jackson in 1988, and a glimpse of then unknown Barack Obama during his Senate and Presidential campaigns, protests against gangsta Rap music, its destructive messages, and the fight against police brutality and racial profiling in Southern California. Raising Hell is a compelling story of a raw and fearless activist who holds to his truth: “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” Malcolm X. Through faith-guided and unrelenting activism, Ali managed to accomplish what many seasoned “leaders” only dreamed. Along Ali’s life journey, he has intertwined with entertainment icons such as Michael Jackson, Steve Harvey, civil and social justice activists Dick Gregory, Martin Luther King III, Rev. Al Sharpton, Congressmember Karen Bass, business leaders Magic Johnson, John “Hope” Bryant, Kathy Hughes, Journalists Roland Martin, and Tavis Smiley.
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