One thing I’ve been enjoying this week, is learning about Black History through rap. I’ve found myself falling in love with rap again and being moved by the poetry of the lyrics. It has been a re-education of things that I thought I once knew. One song that has been on repeat throughout the week is Gangland by Lecrae. The lyrics have taught me more about black history than any history lesson (and this is coming from someone who has an English and History Degree). Below is the first verse with links to key people and organisations you should read up on.
He ain’t have no sense of dignity, his daddy was a mystery
He’ll probably end up dead or sittin’ in a penitentiary
And tell the judge he can go to hell for the sentence
And it probably make no sense to you but listen to the history
The new Jim Crow or the old one
People out here fightin’ for equality and honestly I think they owed some
Back and forth some
Cleaver got a message for the people
Bunchy with ’em and they tryna stop the evil
And they cliqued up with they fist up
The whole neighborhood feelin’ like they meant somethin’
Then it was a mix-up, Fed’s got ’em fixed up
End of the movement, back to the bricks, bruh
They gettin’ bigger every day and tryna fix stuff
They saw Geronimo Pratt dodgin’ bullets from attacks
Guess they figure, “We don’t really want it this much” You know originally, the gangs were created to protect everybody in the community. There was lynching and bombing going on and the gangs were there to protect. What people don’t understand is that a lot of the leaders died. Medgar Evers (has been shot), Bunchy Carter (has been shot), Fred Hampton (has been shot), MLK (has been shot in Memphis Tennessee). These youngsters didn’t have any direction. No leaders to look up to so they imploded on themselves.
Thank you for reading.