Los Angeles, CA – Edgy, insightful, provocative and uncompromising, the stand-up routines of comedian Shang have always echoed the voice and sentiments of the people. And now, as the political comedic voice of “Vote First” a new initiative launched by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s (NCBCP) Unity ’08 Campaign, Shang’s performance will strike yet another chord as he encourages his fellow comedians and the black community at large to not only vote, but to be among the first to cast a ballot.
Vote First bannerShang’s involvement and leadership will spearhead, “Vote First” a grassroots movement geared toward the hip hop generation urging African Americans to vote early.
“In this historic election there will be long lines, major drama at the polls, and we all know the voting machines always break down in the ‘hood,” explains the boisterous comic. “There are a lot of people that would like to suppress the black vote. The games to prevent us from voting have already started. Imagine their disappointment when black folks flip the script and show up early instead of waiting until the last day to vote.”
As Melanie L. Campbell, executive director and CEO of NCBCP, points out, “Voting early will reduce problems at the polls. We’re encouraging people to find out the first day to vote in their state. Some states start early or absentee voting at the beginning of October. In states that do not allow early voting, we’re urging the black community to be among the first in line to cast a ballot. Shang’s involvement will help to get the word out to black youth, they listen to comedians, rappers, and radio hosts.”
The NCBCP is reaching out to the public and black media to get the “Vote First” message to the masses. In addition to radio public service announcements available for airing, the organization has web banners, church fans, and other materials promoting early voting. They’re also urging voters to join one of the marches to the polls being coordinated across the country by churches, civic organizations, individuals, fraternities and sororities on the first day of early voting.
“The black community made it happen in Jena. If 40,000 Black people could drive thousands of miles into the middle of nowhere to free the Jena Six, every eligible black voter should be able to make it to their local polling place to change America,” asserts Shang. “Yes y’all, we can overcome, and we can do it early by ‘Voting First!'”
The NCBCP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing Black civic engagement and voter participation. Unity ’08 is a coalition of some of the most prestigious organizations working together to turn out a historic number of African American voters in 2008. National Unity ’08 Campaign partners include: National Urban League, Black Youth Vote!, National Council of Negro Women, A. Philip Randolph Institute, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, American Urban Radio Networks, BET, 100 Black Men of America, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association, among others.
The debut of Shang’s first major release CD entitled “SHANGRY!!”, on Uproar Records is a broadcast of his unique perspective on social and political issues. The New York native has cemented his position as one of the brightest funnymen in the business as his political and explosive humor has been showcased on HBO’s Aspen Comedy Festival Special “Best of the Fest,”Politically Incorrect,” BBC’s “Funny Business,” Mun2’s “Loco Comedy Jam,” NBC’S “Comedy Showcase,” and MTV’s “Choose or Lose” just to name a few. He served as co-host on Russell Simmon’s “One World Music Beat” and as co-producer and host of BET’S “Access Granted” in addition to appearing regularly on BET’s “Comic View.”
“Peoples,” informs Shang, “know what’s going on. Take control and don’t be controlled. The following facts are crucial:
-Verify your registration status BEFORE Election Day – Make sure you are listed on the registration roll by calling your local Board of Elections.
-Verify your poll location before ELECTION Day. Call 1-866-MYVOTE1 (1-866-698-6831) to find your polling place.
-Don’t leave home without a government issued photo ID. If you have problems voting call Election Protection at 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
-Verify the date and location to vote early or absentee in your state at www.blackcampaign.org then VOTE FIRST!
-Be a part of history. Vote early or be FIRST in line on November 4 – VOTE FIRST!
-After you cast your ballot, text “blackyouthvote” to 69302.”
For additional information contact the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Inc. at www.blackcampaign.org or by phone at 202-659-4929. And check out Shang at www.IAmShang.com.