You Listen To Tupac?
She asked me with grace, fire in her eyes and a desire to connect—Do you listen to Tupac? I looked her in her eyes and with an affirmation that rang deep in my soul I said—YES I DO! She was young and at the age of 14 she tells me that she has witnessed how police approach her mother. Her smile diminishes and that look of fear takes over. She felt compelled to share because I finished my series of presentations to high school youth regarding the creation and need of the IPE movement. In this story, I highlight my partners interaction with police. That late night altercation in Oakland is the one that takes over the room as we speak of pain, trauma, hope and our indignant and formidable spirits.
Tupac allows us to connect. Tupac allows us to share our stories of commonality. Tupac allows us to understand that Brenda’s Got a Baby is real and it happens. Tupac allows to understand that Dear Mama will always have our back even when our decisions place us difficult predicaments. Tupac allows us to understand that California Love is unique and laced with spirit, a yearning for freedom and a call to action. In the end, it is Tupac that allows me a Chicanx mujer to connect with a young and dynamic Black girl from the Inland Empire. Tupac allowed this to happen and for this a big ups to Tupac.
My mind races back to that moment. I engage and give her Tupac tracks she might not be familiar with such as Brenda’s Got a Baby. For those that know me and for those that know me via my written word, I believe Hip Hop is a spirit with strength, love and action. This is why I am proud to say to her, YES I LISTEN TO TUPAC!