Saturday 25 August 2018

Teaching Self-Esteem

Society does a great job of making people feel inadequate if they don't have money. Some people are immune to this snobbery while others are more impacted. In the song December 4th, Jay-Z raps about feeling ''worthless" when he was young because his clothes weren't matching. He explains that after he started selling cocaine his "self-esteem went through the roof" because he had the latest clothes, he was popular and "light-skinned girls" with "wavy" hair started to love him. I respect Jay-Z's honesty because these are the the same issue affecting black boys from impoverished communities in the UK. In addition to dealing with issues of poverty, black boys from poor areas contend with issues of self-hate as well. Self-hatred is caused by indirect racism and crime is one of it's effects. In order to stop these boys from committing crimes we need to first deal with the roots by teaching them to love themselves.

Keep Ya Head Up by 2Pac
Tupac Shakur was so much more than a rapper, he was an actor, a businessman, an activist and more. He was far from perfect but he had a good heart. Songs like, Brenda's Got a Baby, Keep Ya Head Up and Dear Mama highlight Tupac's caring and compassionate nature. His mother, Afeni Shakur was a member of the Black Panther party, an organisation dedicated to uplifting black people. She instilled a deep sense of pride into Tupac which gave him the confidence to go out into the world and blossom into a star. Tupac had a strong desire to help people but he became side-tracked from his original purpose. Nonetheless, he left a large body of work for us to learn from. Tupac's mistakes are a lesson of what not to do but we shouldn't discount all the positives because of the negatives. The fact is, young black boys from the inner city areas are more likely to be inspired by Tupac than Martin Luther King. Tupac was from the streets and his lyrics often speak to people who growing up in similar environments to the one that he came from. His song White Man'z World reprimand black people for killing each other while encouraging them to love themselves.