Mokah and Knowa Johnson continue to contribute to the fabric of Athens' culture and creativity through a wide range of activism and activities, including their United Group of Artists work and the annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade. 

Mokah and Knowa Johnson continue to contribute to the fabric of Athens' culture and creativity through a wide range of activism and activities, including their United Group of Artists work and the annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade. 

Video Transcript

 

[Mokah]: I remembered the moment it was like Knowa and I was walking down a street. It was late at night. It wasn't a lot of people out. And I remember seeing this guy playing his music on the corner. And then as we were walking I hear somebody beating on some drums. It just reminded me of what New York used to be like back in the day. 

[Knowa]: Our goal was really to. 

Show how hip hop impacted our lives. You know as parents as entrepreneurs and and as youth you know growing up and trying to find your identity. 

[Mokah]: As a young girl growing up, there's a lot of times that I felt displaced because I'm not originally from United States of America. But the music was my go to. Being able to write. Being able to dance. Being able to be lost in that zone and not worry about a lot of other things. Hip hop was like a communication network for all the kids in the different ghettos around the US to tell their story and. 

[Knowa]: For other kids to listen and to see that we were going through similar things. Hip hop gave us that template where we. We didn't take business classes. We didn't have business mentors. To teach us all these things. But being able to see those threads and those seams in what everybody else is doing when it came to dropping their project or putting their project together that that really helped us. You know. 

Trying to make it as an artist you know the odds against you making it as an artist coming from where I came from is like probably more than one in a million. But to have the audacity to go ahead and try anyways for years and years and years you know it builds up an endurance and it builds up a lot of knowledge. 

Things that we've learned along the way. You know I've had different managers I've been a manager for different artists. You know with a budget without a budget and there's things that I couldn't learn until I got in those positions you know. 

I think Athens has a lot of potential of being a model city. You know in social justice and economic development and creativity and arts you know it's been the one catalyst to draw people together across ethnicity across racial lines across economic statuses. That's that's what we saw and that's what we experienced. 

[Mokah]: It was something that it was my first time in my life that I ever really really was engaged in politics because it recharges me. It gives me it gives me hope again to see that many people come to this event.