Why Michael Franti is a Revolutionary Man

Michael Franti

As many of you know, I am always on the lookout for men who inspire me. Men that challenge the status quo. Men who stand up for the truth and are advocates for social justice and human dignity.  Men that move beyond blame. Michael Franti is such a man. To me, he is a freedom fighter.

I’m on a mission to interview this guy so we can all learn from his courage.

I first heard of him from my old roomate Rose. She described to me how  after each show Franti leaves the stage and walks around hugging everyone in the audience. I didn’t end up seeing him until four years later. And sure enough, after an amazing inspiring performance at the Fillmore in Denver, and proceeds to hug everyone around him.

I love his music. It does inspire me deeply. But more than that, I love and respect what this man stands for. He is not afraid to speak out and put himself in harms way to deliver a message and ask intelligent questions.

“When I first started out, I think that my politics could be boiled down to `Fuck The System’ or `Fuck the Man,’” Franti says. “When you’re coming of age, you’re desperate to change the world, but you have no idea how to actually do it. It takes time to discover that just complaining about the world is not enough. You have to do some affirmative.”

I can really relate to Franti because as a young man I too wanted to rebel against it all and at a certain point, my complaints went unheard and unanswered. I had to grow up but found out I can rebel with respect and intelligence. Hence the Revolutionary Man Project. Inspiring men to take action and rise above our differences.

Here are a few excerpt from his website about him.

“… What’s most impressive about Michael Franti as a recording artist and live performer is his ability to inspire. Ultimately, the heartfelt music that Franti makes and his dedication to greater understanding on a global level, are not two aspects of his life, but very much one and the same.

“Increasingly over my life, I have less interest in being part of the fighting between parties. I’m interested in bringing people together on the left and the right, to face the issues of the day. The problems from global warming to the economy that we face today are so clearly universal that we need to address them together.”

Indeed, Franti, the African-American son adopted and raised by Finnish American couple, has continued on many fronts to reach across all groups in a variety of ways, whether its with his annual Power To The Peaceful Festival or his award-winning documentary “I Know I’m Not Alone”, which featured Franti in Iraq, within the Palestinian territories and in Israel.

One war zone experience informs Franti’s sense of musical mission. As he remembers, “I was playing on the streets of Bagdad, and I introduced a song called `Bomb The World’ that says ’You can bomb the world into pieces/but you can’t bomb it into peace.’ I would translate that. And people there told me, `Oh well that’s an interesting song, but we’re living here where our world is being blown up, so sing us something that can make us dance and laugh and clap. That’s what they want to do.”

“The truth is that we need everybody. We need the ideas of the grass roots. We need the resources of the corporate world. We need the cooperation of the government. And we need the intelligence of everyday people with their street wisdom.”

“As a musician and a man, I more than anything else want to be a unifier,” Franti explains. “I want to bring people together through music and its unique power. And I hope that somehow that sense of unity extends beyond the music.”

Check out his provocative, educational movie here. And watch a music video below. Thank you Michael Franti for being a Revolutionary Man!! If you read this, grant me an interview?

1 Comment

  • Justice Marshall

    Reply Reply March 18, 2009

    Good choice! This guy rocks.
    I even listened to him way back in The Beatnigs…

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