6 Things Black Students Need to Hear After Nipsey Hussle’s DeathJanuary 1, 1970 2022-03-17 12:26
6 Things Black Students Need to Hear After Nipsey Hussle’s Death
6 Things Black Students Need to Hear After Nipsey Hussle’s Death
“He was a former gang member…and in other news…”
That’s what my favorite local news station, WGN, had to say about Ermias Joseph Asghedom—better known as rapper and songwriter—in reporting about his the other day.
I was pretty disappointed in their portrayal.
Shame onfor their coverage on . Had to mention that he was in a gang when he was a teen but no mention of the work he’s done in the community in his adult years. Damn y’all stay trying to tear a Black man down, even in death.
— Sis. Peeples Servin’ Real Talk 🗣️🙌🏾 (@PeeplesChoice85)
While I didn’t know much about him before learning of his unfortunate and untimely death, the outcry and love shown for this Brother on social media was a strong indication that this was. Because more than a former gang member, he was a community activist, entrepreneur and devoted family man.
Before the media tries to put up a mug shot and make this man look bad saying he’s a thug and his death was gang related. I’ll go first. Nipsey Hussle was an entrepreneur, philanthropist, rapper, father who did great things for his community…………………
— FREE MURDA 😈🔩 (@Fatboyy_Dblack)
And beyond that, his life and death carried some key messages that Black students should know to keep them encouraged while navigating and experiencing some of the same obstacles as Nipsey Hussle.
1. Your Neighborhood Doesn’t Define You
If you’re Black and from a low-income community, you’ve probably been labeled with or pre-judged by a list of ignorant generalizations like you’re poor, uneducated and likely to become a criminal. Or if you are educated, you’re seen as an anomaly having survived “the hood.” On top of all that, you’re .
Both presumptions are hella annoying and as jacked up as all of this is, people are still making a way out of what seems like no way.
Nipsey was from Crenshaw—considered to be one of the roughest neighborhoods in Los Angeles—and he became a self-made millionaire.in Brooklyn, also known to be dangerous. And educator and recently elected congresswoman, , grew up public housing projects.
None of them let their past or their neighborhoods define or limit their potential.
2. The School-to-Prison Pipeline Is Real…But You Can Beat It
Nipsey Hussle left home at 14 and later dropped out of Hamilton High School in LA after being . From there he started hanging in the streets, committing crimes and eventually joined the Rollin 60s gang, a faction of the infamous gang.
The public school system is designed for Black kids to follow the. That means that the minute you hit pre-K there are obstacles in place to set Black students up for failure and land them in jail. As a matter of fact, Black preschoolers are than other students.
We must end the school to prison pipeline.
— Mr. Grant Williams (@MrWilliamsKC)
Considering the fact that he was pushed out of school and fell into a hard knock life as a teen, Nipsey was supposed to be in jail. But, he was able to survive by never losing sight of his goals and continuously pursuing his passion—and that’s how he beat the prison pipeline.
3. College Isn’t for Everyone But That Should Be Your Choice Not Someone Else’s
College gets shoved down our throats like it’s the only way to achieve the “American Dream.” and I’m sure it’s happening to y’all, too.
But,—Nipsey Hussle is proof of this.
Nipsey was a self-made millionaire who invested his time and energy into his passion, music. He didn’t go to college to learn how to make a mixtape. He didn’t go to college to learn how to sell his music. And he didn’t need to go to college to start his clothing line or open his businesses.
Essentially, he educated and surrounded himself with a network that would help grow his empire and legacy.
This is so painful!was doing great work for the people. Keep his legacy alive by carrying on his work! Sending love to his family. Rest in Power King 👑
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7)
This isn’t an anti-college rant. I’m just urging students to really explore their passions and follow the route that works best for them.
Let’s be real, most schools aren’t even actually trying to help Black students get to college, and most colleges. So if you’re going to choose to skip college then don’t let it be because a racist system tried to hold you back.
4. Positive Black Role Models Are Educators Even When They Aren’t in Classrooms
We often only look at the people in our classrooms as educators and potentially, role models. However, there’s a significant absence of Black educators in classrooms. And even though studies have shown that Black students who have at least one teacher that looks like them are , we’re still struggling with a measly of the educator workforce pie.
Nipsey wasn’t a teacher in the classroom, but he was an educator and innovator in his community.
this goes for those of us who work in education but aren’t in the classroom everyday—we need to be talking aboutin our meetings with school + district leaders + out-of-school orgs + foundations
— sam seidel (@husslington)
He worked to educate people on the importance of investing in their own communities, the science behind and the benefits of entrepreneurship and he evenfor students.
So we should celebrate thelike , , and , that are working to put and keep more Black educators in classrooms. But in the short term, we have to be more open-minded in our consideration of who qualifies as an “educator” so that we can really embrace the contributions of our entire community.
5. We Gotta Reach One and Teach One Through Advocacy
There’s an African proverb that says, that was used during slavery to imply that it was the responsibility of those who learned to read to teach others. This is where Nipsey’s legacy will shine.
Having undergone all of the struggles that a Black male from a low-income, high-crime neighborhood may face, Nipsey didn’t run away from his community like many people that have “made it.” Instead, he used his fame and influence to.
Where he may have noticed education lagging, he created pathways that tapped into youth’s potential where others were unwilling to invest.
In addressing, he opened businesses that employed fellow artists and other people in the community. And by being an activist and collaborating with law enforcement to come up with solutions.
6. Continue Nipsey’s Legacy
In a way, we’re all Nipsey Hussle. We’ve experienced some kind of discrimination or hardship just because we’re Black.
But the most important lesson here is to not let those experiences deter you from greatness. And when you reach that pinnacle of greatness, take it back to the ’hood and let others shine through you.