Throwback poem from poet Nikki Giovanni, written in 1996…
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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?