Friday, May 16, 2008

Congratulation To My Daughter Banke

I am so proud and excited as I write this post. One of the reasons that I am also excited about Senator Obama’s candidacy for the Oval Office is his vision for our children. All of our children should have the opportunity to be all that they can be regardless of race and/or economic class.

Through God’s grace and great mercy my daughter Banke will receive a Masters in Education on May 17, 2008. Please rejoice, celebrate, and help me congratulate my youngest daughter Banke as she reaches this wonderful achievement in her life.

Banke is 24 years young, gifted, and black. She is a 2005 graduate of the University of VA and has been employed as a teacher for three years.

It is my belief that as race of people African-Americans should rejoice, encourage, celebrate, comfort, and love each other. Additionally, I hope that you enjoy reading the following post written by Banke on her facebook blog as much as I did.

May 13, 2008
"hip-Hop saved my life

Lupe said hip-hop saved his life and I am inclined to agree with him. When I think about all of the major events and phases and my life, hip-hop is the backdrop. I remember when my sister came home from Syracuse University so excited to play “Mo Money, Mo Problems”. Her enthusiasm was infectious. I laid on the living room floor and let the music wash over me. Perhaps this was my baptism into hip-hop.

I remember my other sister telling me how everybody at Penn State went crazy whenever they heard, “f--- the state pen, f--- hoes at Penn State.”

I remember being a suburban kid who loved to visit her cousin on the weekend because she lived in the hood. We walked to the corner store, heard the cars blasting music, and thought this is what it’s like to be alive.

When that same suburban kid moved to the hood herself she wasn’t scared or sad because she was moving where the music came from.

I remember house parties and dancing on the wall and doing the cry baby.

My image of love was shaped by hip-hop. I remember hearing Mary and Meth thinking I hope to one day find a love like that. I haven’t, but that song still sets the standard for how I want to feel. I remember hearing Tupac and getting goose bumps. I felt how Elaine Brown felt when she met Huey P. Newton. What a genius what a maniac, I wanted a man like that.

I remember moving down south and hearing Timbaland constantly on the radio. My sister and I went crazy every time we heard “Love to Love Ya. I wanted “big lips and handle bars.” I remember bugging out over how crazy Missy was. I remember the WU album.

I learned about sexuality from hip-hop. LL taught me that if you’re going to do it, do it well. Lil’ Kim taught me the power that a woman holds in between her legs; Foxy Brown taught me how to use it.

I remember listening to We Are the Streets and Back for the First time non-stop in high school. I remember being rebellious, only putting my head up when I had headphones on.

I remember college and my southern boyfriend putting me on to the merits of Outkast. I remember my afrocentric soul sista putting me on the Jean Grae. I remember The Roots concert being sold out, madlib being bumped by the real hip-hop kids. I remember Lil’ Jon got the parties going crazy. I remember when Kayne first came out. He fed the soul of that suburban/hood/conscious/afrocentric bohemian I was becoming.

I remember just wanting to be a part of it. I read everything hip-hop. XXL was read cover to cover the first day it hit the newsstands. S---, it was college you know I didn’t have a subscription. I remember listening to everything they referenced as classic. I wanted to live, breathe, and sh-- hip-hop. I remember the rush I felt when my words and my name were in the newspaper—people reading MY reviews on the net.

I remember graduation and the panicky feeling I had. No job lined up, back to the Roc. I remember teaching kids from the same hood and wanting to shield them from every bad decision that could be made.

Now I am a seasoned teacher I’m out of love with hip-hop. I hate the fake thugs it creates, I hate the materialism it promotes, I hate seeing my female students sing along with songs that “let them lick the wrapper.”

But I could never hate hip-hop.

I use it to teach my students to think critically. Why do you like this? Why is this hot? What does it make YOU feel? So slowly hip-hop is putting me back under its spell. When I teach my students about a four count, and how to critique a beat and they get it, I get that feeling back.

Hip-hop raised me, and I haven’t grown up yet."

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined."

No comments: