Mourning the Death of a Savior

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Nipsey Hussle was murdered yesterday in front of a clothing store that he owned. He was murdered at the age of 33, the same age that Jesus was when he was nailed to the cross. Police are now saying that he was murdered by someone that he knew and that it was over a personal dispute. Initially people on social media were saying that it was a government conspiracy due to his upcoming documentary on the life of Dr. Sebi, a controversial figure who claimed to have found the cure to AIDS and other STD’s. But now the energy has shifted back to us. Back to the ghetto, and back to the self-hatred that is so pervasive in the black body. This plague has consumed Nipsey, who was a manifestation of hope in a very confounding era in which the blind are somehow able to amass extremely large followings and those who sleep on the traditions of our ancestors loudly proclaim to be woke.

 

As I sit here writing, the waves of pain are crashing against my consciousness. Particularly as I write the word was in regards to Nipsey. For everything that he did was for the future of black people—future economic empowerment, future financial literacy, future black ownership of the hood—and now he will be forever relegated to the past. We will have to speak of him in the same cryptic “what if” language in which we speak of Tupac Shakur. Each time we see his profound intellect displayed during an interview, or hear him spitting rhymes over a gangsta beat, instead of bobbing our heads we will instinctively hold them—both hands pressed against our foreheads— and say “Damn.” A man so full of light who escaped a life sentence in the penitentiary, poverty, disease, ignorance and all the other symptoms of ghetto America should not have to spend the rest of eternity trapped in the past tense. There was so much more unifying that he could have done.

Nipsey, for those of you who may not know, was the solution. If one were to go to any barbershop in any hood in this country and pose the question “What needs to be done in order to turn this community around?” People will inevitably say young people need jobs, instead of liquor stores we need more black owned businesses, the young people need a leader that will inspire them. Nipsey provided all of these things. He carried the faith of downtrodden on his back just as gracefully as he dawned the words SLAUSON BOY in the form of a tattoo between his shoulder blades.

He was at once the descendant of American slaves on his mother’s side and of a son of the Abyssinian Empire on his father’s side. Nipsey was royalty. He was mixed with those that rose up from slavery and those who refused to be colonized. Indeed, the best blood of Africa coursed through his veins. Blood that was unfortunately spilled on the pavement in the rolling 60’s neighborhood that he loved so dearly. A community which he was committed to uplifting.

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Nipsey is dead now. Having been murdered less than 48 hours ago. He leaves two children, one girlfriend, and a legacy of love and power. And though he left too soon, he left a blueprint on the possibility of collective empowerment for a group of people that have been systematic stripped of such a concept. He will be missed by many, especially this writer. Rest easy Nip. I will ride for you. I will write for you and I will hustle hard in your honor.

Roger Porter

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Notes on abortion amongst black women in New York

I recently came across a statistic that bothered me more than anything I’ve read in several years and, to be frank, I read a lot of very depressing literature. The statistic is that in New York City there are more abortions than live births for black women (http://blackamericaweb.com/2014/02/27/in-n-y-c-more-abortions-than-live-births-for-black-women/).

 

Now before all of the women that may come across this blog cringe at the thought of another man expressing his feelings on abortion, I would like to say that I fully realize that as a man I will never be pregnant and thus I will never be in a situation where I have to personally consider getting an abortion. Maybe it isn’t my place to speak on what women should and should not do with their bodies but as a black man it behooves me to decry the low cultural self-esteem and internalized racism amongst black people that this study confirms.

 

The study goes on to say that although abortions in New York City were down overall black women comprised 42.4 percent of the abortions performed.

 

When I finished reading the article I was at a loss. What happened to the idea of black folk handing down our dreams to our children no matter how bleak our current circumstances may be? If the whole country is stuck in a recession and a whole generation of young people are coming into adulthood mired in debt that they don’t have the means to pay off due to their inability to obtain employment then how is it that unborn black babies suffer more than any other demographic?

 

Has abortion become completely normalized in the black community?

 

When I was in high school if you got your girlfriend pregnant then you were supposed to “make her get an abortion.” Now as I tread deeper into the murky, unknown waters of manhood I see that a lot of my peers have been unable to shake this mentality. I know a lot of men who hold complete bitterness and hostility toward the very notion of them being a father.

 

“The bitch trapped me.”

 

“I don’t think she’s really pregnant.”

 

“I want a paternity test.”

 

These are all very strong sentiments that undoubtedly have a tremendous impact of the decision-making process of a black woman who all of a sudden finds herself to be in a pregnant condition. It’s hard for me to blame a sista for voluntarily choosing not to bring a child into this world out-of-wedlock knowing that she is going to have to raise the child without the assistance of the child’s father.

 

I do, however, wish that we remembered how much the descendants of Africa have historically cherished life. Be it on a rural plantation in Georgia or post earthquake Haiti blacks have always found hope in keeping our culture going strong. No matter how impossible our situation may appear to outsiders, we have never given up because quitting is probably the most Un-African thing a person can do.

 

It saddens me to know that the majority of black women in New York City have been led to believe that the termination of the spirit growing inside them is the most logical course of action to be taken.

 

-YB