Tag Archives: Self-Esteem

Reflection for today…Potential -Doris Lessing

26 Mar

“Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.” 
Doris Lessing

Photo Courtesy of: http://intotheshadows.org/

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Society is not a level playing field.

Equal opporunities are mostly urban legends.

Spoken word poets and hip hop artists often speak about social inequalities and injustice through social commentary.

Some hip hop artists educate, enlighten/uplift consciousness and inspire.

Stic Man & M-1 are Dead Prez: My favourite hip hop artists/activists/revolutionaries

Tupac Shakur was a brilliant poet/artist/activist/revolutionary

This poetic narrative story telling made me fall in love with hip hop because it gave a voice to the voiceless.

It was the poetry of the streets.

tupac-shakur-quotes-sayings-about-yourself-community-wise

Many will not like the social commentary.

It is so incisive and critical but it has to be because the living conditions are full of suffering and injustice.

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It should be noted that conscious hip hop and punk music have many parallels.

They both fight against the status quo.

They both subvert the dominant paradigm.

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Black ice is such a gifted poet and spoken word artist.

He shoots from the hip and his poems go straight to your heart and mind.

In his poem Imagine, he meditates on social inequality and how different life would be if equal opportunities actually existed.

He proposes to “put love where the hate is.”

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Please enjoy his poem Imagine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kVT89O6cLo

What happens in neighborhoods where the self-esteem has been overshadowed by the decay and the children no longer play the way they used to?

Where young boys choose to follow figures that had no father figures…

Whatever happened to that we shall overcome shit?…

Cold winters are sheltered by crack houses instead of recreational centers that they claim to not have the paper to keep open for operation…

What’s a young boy to do when he doesn’t want to do wrong but there’s a lock on the right door?

When he has the heart of a soldier, the aggression of a prize fighter but no one’s taught him what to fight for…

Young Tupac was one of many boys without fathers {as Black Ice says}.
However, the absence of his father was eclipsed by his mother’s fierce love.
Afeni {a former Black Panther} passed on infinite wisdom to her son so it isn’t true that “no one taught him what to fight for.”
“My mother taught me three things: respect, knowledge, search for knowledge.
It’s an eternal journey.” -Tupac.

I included this caption of Tupac because he had “the heart of a soldier and aggression of a prize fighter”- not to mention the mind of a revolutionary leader..
 

In the end, Tupac defined manhood for himself and became quite the revolutionary man.

I would have loved to see Tupac become a father…

 

 

See, most of our families are fatherless and quite poor so we miss out on meals as well as kisses and hugs.

Photo Courtesy of: http://zunlee.com/

You’ve got the audacity to cut the funding for the facilities that keep us off the streets then ask us why we sell drugs.

Imagine if we put down our dices and guns, picked up our daughters and sons and put a little love right there where the hate is…

Imagine if these little inner city kids had the same type of schools that these rich kids have way out there in the sticks…”

Black Ice

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Imagine we lived in a world where there was no suffering, injustice/oppression, “third world” class distinction or any class distinction whatsoever.

This is the world that I want to live in…

Art by BANKSY

Peace & Namaste.

{More posts about poverty/social inequality/injustice, sociology, spoken word poetry, Tupac, Dead Prez, Black Ice and hip hop coming up in the future…}

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For more information…

Dorris Lessing…http://www.dorislessing.org/

Black Ice…https://twitter.com/BLACKICETHEPOET

Tupac…http://www.2pac.com/

The Tupac Shakur foundation…http://www.tasf.org/

Dead Prez…http://deadprezblog.wordpress.com/blog/

Tupac’s Legend

Tupac Amaru Shakur was an inspiration to millions.

While  2Pac was most famous for his rap career,  he was also a gifted actor, poet and thoughtful while outspoken advocate for the poor and the overlooked in America. During his life, he produced an immense amount of artistic work, which included studio albums, major Hollywood feature films, and published works.  He was most prolific in the music industry, selling over 75 million albums. 2Pac’s unapologetic lyrics were relevant, important, and reflective of the hard lives led by many. His music earned attention and respect through a poetic style that embraced street vocabulary while being innovative. Today, 2Pac is still considered by many to be one of the biggest influences on modern hip-hop.

2Pac’s career has earned him six Grammy nominations and three MTV Video Music Award nominations. In 1997, Shakur was honored by the American Music Awards as the Favorite Hip Hop Artist.

Born on June 16 1971 in New York City, Shakur’s parents were both members of the Black Panther Party whose militant style and provocative ideologies for civil rights would come to influence 2Pac’s music. At an early age, Tuapc’s love for performance and the arts began to show, as he began acting at age 13 and later enrolled in the Baltimore School of the Arts before dropping out at 17. Shakur broke into the music business with rap group Digital Underground as a back-up dancer and roadie. Eventually Shakur released his first solo album in ’91, 2pacalypse Now. 2Pac’s music career began to grow as his second album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z included two top 20 pop chart tracks: I Get Around and Keep Ya Head Up.

Shakur’s legal battles began after he established his rap career. In the early nineties Shakur faced a wrongful death suit which settled out of court, accusations of assaulting police officers where charges were ultimately dropped, and even an incident where Shakur sustained five gunshot wounds from shooter Dexter Isaac. In 1995 2Pac was sentenced one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years in prison for sexual abuse. However, not even prison could slow the success of Shakur’s career.

While incarcerated 2Pac’s latest album at the time, Me Against the World, was number one in the pop charts and would later go double platinum. Shakur became the first artist to reach number one in the pop charts while serving a prison sentence. Making the most of his time in jail, 2Pac became a passionate reader. Among his favorites were the works of Niccolò Machiavelli, an Italian Renaissance writer whose works were in part the foundation for western political science. Shakur’s appreciation of his work inspired the nickname: Makaveli.

After serving only eight months of his sentence, 2Pac was out on parole thanks to a 1.4 million dollar bond paid by Suge Knight, CEO of Death Row Records. Now signed with Death Row Records, Shakur went on to create All Eyez on Me, which featured hits How Do You Want It and California Love.

2Pac’s life was cut short in September of 1996 when Shakur became the victim of a drive-by shooting while his car waited on a red light. While Shakur survived the surgery that followed he was pronounced dead almost a week after the attack.

Even today, 2Pac’s influence is wide-spread. From the Library of Congress where his song Dear Mama was added in 2010 to the National Registry, to artists like 11 time Grammy winner Eminem who in an interview with MTV said:

“He made you feel like you knew him. I think that , honestly, Tupac was the greatest songwriter that ever lived. He made it seem so easy. The emotion was there, and feeling, and everything he was trying to describe. You saw a picture that he was trying to paint.”

2Pac leaves a legacy of honesty and passion in his songs. Respected by many,  2Pac has become an inspiration for artists and a standard in rap music.”

-Copied & Pasted from: http://www.2pac.com/legend/

The Tupac Shakur Foundation

“MISSION

Our mission is to provide training and support for students who aspire to enhance their creative talents. Each and every child desires freedom to creatively express themselves. We provide an environment that encourages freedom of expression, serves as a resource for families, and empowers via education.

ABOUT

The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation (TASF) is home to the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts, just outside of Atlanta in Stone Mountain, Georgia. TASF was founded in 1997 originally as the Shakur Family Foundation by Afeni Shakur, mother of multi-talented Tupac Amaru Shakur. Since its inception TASF has offered performing arts camps, essay competitions, youth book clubs, visual arts workshops, community development projects, and scholarships to students pursuing undergraduate degrees.

On June 11, 2005 the TASF opened the Center! The Center is dedicated to providing youth and the community with educational programs in the arts. It is a fact that early arts education improves school grades, as well as offers invaluable life lessons while building self-esteem and confidence. For nearly 15 years, the Foundation’s programs have served youth of all social and economic backgrounds, giving countless young people the courage to get off the streets and learn vital skills that have the potential to positively impact their communities. The Center is open to the public and hosts several noteworthy events throughout the year.

MORE ABOUT TUPAC

Tupac Amaru Shakur dealt with great obstacles such as homelessness, hunger, and pain, amongst other situations during his youth. Performing arts provided the hope that would seed the expression that would one day influence generations worldwide.

Tupac accomplished a lot before his murder at the age of 25. At an early age, he wrote and organized family productions, casting himself as the lead and his older cousins in supporting roles. Tupac formally trained at the 127th Street Ensemble and Baltimore School for the Arts. At the age of twelve, he experienced his first formal stage role as the character “Travis” in the stage play ‘Raisin In the Sun’ at the prestigious Apollo Theatre in Harlem.

Tupac was eventually cast in several feature films and recorded several chart topping albums. In fact, he released the first ever double hip-hop CD.   Today, years after his physical departure, he is the second highest selling Hip-Hop artist of all time. His gift- his words and creative talent- continues to inspire others around the world!

-Copied & Pasted from: http://www.tasf.org/the-foundation/about-tasf/

Tupac Sends You Peace…

Break Me Gently…Honesty Breaks Down Walls in High Fidelity

14 Jul

News | How Erykah Badu Broke it Off With Rapper Common! | Singersroom

The reason that I decided to share this is because I wanted to briefly discuss break-ups.

I really respect how Erykah Badu was so honest with Common.

Although it hurt him to tell him the truth about her change of heart, in the end it was better for Common. 

He grew and learned from the experience.

It was his first love and first heart-break. Now he says that he and Erykah are “cool” again.

Why couldn’t everyone be so honest in regards to break-ups?

Imagine if someone told you the truth instead of a cheap, prostituted line…

“It’s not you, it’s me.” 

*Who really believes that anyway? Come on, please. Don’t even…

If people were more honest about why they really want to leave their significant other, then perhaps the other person would learn so much more and have better closure.

Perhaps this communication could break down some walls and infuse some new life in the old friendship and romance.

Who knows, perhaps this new-found honesty might create some new-found intimacy and the break-up might even be avoided.

Perhaps things fall apart to come together…

Perhaps I am dreaming of a utopian vision of reality because I know that most of the time things just fall apart.

{I know that relationships and break-ups especially are more complicated than this post describes}.

Regardless, if a couple has to part ways, it would be ideal if they each respected each other enough to really be honest with each other.

By not telling someone the truth, you are potentially taking away opportunities for growth. 

You are also really damaging their self-esteem, self-worth and confidence because they are left to wonder what is wrong with them.

They can only think that something is inherently wrong with themselves..

How else can they know what they did wrong if you don’t tell them? How else can they improve, learn, grow and change?

Thankfully one can still do some self-reflection in order to find healing, growth and closure on your own. 

You can learn from your mistakes.

*Of course your learning, growth and healing is not the other person’s responsibility.

{That is not at all what I am saying. Your learning, growth and healing is always your responsibility.

It would be so helpful to get that honesty, respect and communication from the person that once claimed to love and care about you}.

If both are ready and willing to battle their egos, then perhaps they can truly listen, share and learn.

At least both can learn what they did wrong from the mutual constructive criticism and feedback.

They will know why the other is jumping ship instead of just being left out in the cold  {or the rain} all alone.

Leaving someone guessing is just too cruel to do to someone’s heart, mind, life and soul- especially to someone who you used to like, love or at least be attracted to. This only further hurts someone that loved and adored you.

Don’t they deserve better from you?

{Leaving crumbs of false hope is an even more heartless thing to do to someone. Giving someone false hope so selfishly makes it painful for them to move on and to heal}. 

No one deserves to over-analyze and be haunted by what they possibly could have done wrong.They deserve better and if you are the dumped person, then so do you.

{Of course there always are exceptions and sadly not every break-up is amicable}.

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P.s. I highly recommend watching the movie High Fidelity (where most of the pictures from this post are from).

It is an excellent movie and my favourite break-up movie of all time next to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind}. 

Plus I adore John Cusack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seSLhjX4uA0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxDMzbxPQx8&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmmq2ozbIFY&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puOQuQI83lw&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2oP8YO7F5A&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dRiD-giCTc&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeL32rVtvic&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmk12K5dFno&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ1vNa-fzX0&feature=fvwrel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b9rbDeE9ZE&feature=fvwrel

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I also recommend a song that I love called “Break Me Gently” by Doves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHtNGaaXSqs

It was part of the inspiration for this post {along with High Fidelity}.

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The learn more about Doves, please click here:

http://www.doves.net/