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They were angry at a messenger, that’s why 2Pac is not with us

Throwback poem from poet Nikki Giovanni, written in 1996…
Get Giovanni’s most recent book Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea

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"All Eyez on U" by Nikki Giovanni
as I tossed and turned unable to achieve sleep unable to control anxiety unable to comprehend why
 2Pac is not with us
 if those who live be the sword died be the sword there would be no white men on the earth
 if those who lived on hatred died on hatred there would be no KKK
 if those who lived by lies died by lies there would be nobody on wall
 street in executive suits in academic offices instructing the young
 don’t tell me he got what he deserved
 he deserved a chariot and the accolades of a grateful people
 he deserved his life
 it is as clear as a mountain stream as defining as a lightning strike
 as terrifying as sun to vampires
 there were those who called it dirty
 gansta rap inciting there were those who never wanted to be
 angry at conditions but angry at the messenger who reported:
 your kitchen has roaches your toilet is over flowing you basement has so much water the rats are in the living room your house is in disorder
 and 2Pac told you about it
 what a beautiful boy graceful carriage melodic voice sharp wit intellectual breadth
 what a beautiful boy to loose
 not me
 never me
 I don’t believe east coast west coast
 I saw them murder Emmett Till I saw them murder Malcolm X
 I saw them murder
 Martin Luther King
 I witnessed them shooting Rap Brown I saw them beat LeRoi Jones
 I saw them fill there jails I see them burning churches
 not me
 never me
 I do not believe this is some sort of mouth action
 This is some sort of political action and they picked well
 they picked the brightest freshest fruit from the tallest tree
 what a beautiful boy
 but he will not go away
 as Malcolm did not go away
 as Emmett Till did not go away
 your shooting him will not take him from us
 his spirit will fill our hearts
 his courage will strengthen us for the challenge
 his truth will straighten our backbones
 you know, Socrates had a mother
 she too watched here son drink hemlock
 she too asked why
 but Socrates stood firm and would not lie to save himself
 2Pac has a mother
 the lovely Afeni had to bury her son
 it is not right
 it is not right that this young warrior is cut down
 it is not right for the old to bury the young
 it is not right
 this generation mourns 2Pac as my generation mourned Till as we all mourn Malcolm
 this wonderful you warrior
 Sonia Sanchez said when she learned of his passing she walked all day
 walking the beautiful warrior home to our ancestors I just cried as all
 mothers cry for the beautiful boy who said he and Mike Tyson would
 never be allowed to be free at the same time who told the truth about
 them and who told the truth about us who is our beautiful warrior
 there are those who wanted to make him the problem
 who wanted to believe if they silenced 2Pac all would be quiet on the ghetto
 front there are those who testified that the problem wasn't the conditions
 but the people talking about them
 they took away band
 so the boys started scratching they took away gym
 so the boys started break dancing the boys started dancing the boys started rapping
 cause they gave them the guns and the drugs but not the schools and libraries
 what a beautiful boy to loose
 and we mourn 2Pac Shakur and we reach out to his mother and we
 hung ourselves in sadness and shame
 and we are compelled to ask:
 R U Happy, Mz Tucker? 2Pac is gone
 R U Happy?

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