Over the winter, one of the biggest deals at Sundance film Festival revolved around the untitled T.V. show being created by “Hamilton” actor Daveed Diggs.
Diggs is working on a new television series which tells the tale of a rapper who decides to run for Mayor of his city to promote his Hip-Hop career, and accidentally gets elected.
During the television show, the rapper, played by new actor Brandon Michael Hall, slowly starts to transform City Hall for the better.
The series is actually playing out in real life in Durham, North Carolina, where a teacher in Durham, North Carolina hopes to utilize hip-hop to engineer a win in the upcoming Mayoral elections in the city.
Pierce Freelon is a member of a Jazz/Hip-Hop trio, who is also a professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.
Freelon, who also served on City Council, decided to throw in his hat for Mayor, since the current position will be vacated this Fall, when Mayor Bill Bell steps down from his position after 16 years in office.
The opportunity to make a difference in his local community was too great to pass up, so Pierce is organizing students, local rappers and anyone else he’s worked with as the founder of the popular the “Blackspace,” where students get educated in the STEM fields.
“I am raising kids in this community, where the city is rapidly changing. I want to make sure as the city continues to develop and grow, that all young people in Durham have equal access to opportunity and resources that are associated with our really exciting growth.” – Pierce Freelon
Pierce Freelon wouldn’t be the first “hip-hop mayor” if he can take the election.
Senator Cory Booker did an excellent job during his time as mayor of Newark New Jersey, but Detroit’s Kwame Kilpatrick flopped and ended up being sentenced to 30 years on bribery charges.
“We’ll be kind of aggressively targeting and listening to and building solidarity with young organizers and young artists, and kind of the next generation of Durham voters,” Pierce Freelon said.
Durham could probably use Pierce Freelon leadership.
According to stats released by North Carolina, Durham has the second highest violent crime rate in the state, at 785 per 100,000 residents.
The city’s plight was chronicled a powerful documentary called “Welcome to Durham” which was created while Mayor Bill Bell was in office.
Pierce hopes he can turn the city’s fortunes around, and usher in a new Hip-Hop era forward in City Hall too, only his ambitions are real.