Charlamagne breaks down Nigga Appreciation Month!

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I am facing a room full of high school students, ages 15 – 17 and announce, “It’s Black History Month!” With no excitement from the class I say once more, “I don’t think yall heard me, it’s Black History Month!” Still no response, the class gives me a confused blank stare. Thinking quick I yell, “Lil Wayne is Black History!” The class goes ape shit! The Kids start giving each other pounds, young girls say shit like, “Lil Wayne need to put some of that Black History up in here!” I hold my head down in disgust and say to the teacher, “No disrespect to you but I need to have a real talk with your class immediately and hopefully they won’t become “America’s Next Top Convicts.”

I say to the class, “Shut the fuck up, be quiet and pay attention!” I ask these young bucks, “What does black history mean to you?” The class was silent. I wanted to cry ladies and gentleman. I wanted to cry simply because black people in 2008 are so far from making black history. Someone is probably reading this and thinking of all the millionaire rappers out there getting paid and if that isn’t black history then what is? News flash Ladies and Ghettomen, P. Diddy, Jay Z and 50 Cent are not making black history! I’ll tell you what they are making. They are making a whole lot of money but their bank accounts are doing nothing to uplift the black race. People that made true black history invoked some sort of change in our people. They encouraged us to do better and fight against the system. They didn’t get plugged into it. People that made real black history made it possible for brothers like 50, Diddy, and Jay to amass all the money they’ve made here in Amerikkka. When Malcolm Little was in prison morphing into Malcolm X, he wasn’t doing it with the intention that he would gain some sort of fame or money.

I’m sure he didn’t even realize that he was contributing to black history, but it turned out that way because Malcolm was fighting for a cause greater than any rap beef. He was promoting something productive for the hood not destructive to the hood like Ciroc Vodka, or Ace of Spades Champagne. I do get my drink on when I want to but you and I know that if Malcolm was alive he would be on Puffy and Jay’s ass for allowing the white man to use their likenesses to promote their devil juice amongst our people.

When Martin Luther King Jr. was being beaten with nightsticks, ravaged by dogs, and sprayed with water hoses, his intentions were not to contribute to black history. He was just giving of himself; sacrificing his well-being for the greater good of our people! Who amongst us is doing that now? Who out here is putting themselves on the line and making their mark in black history? Definitely not these rappers you clowns worship. What have the top three rappers of the moment done for our people lately?

Soljah Boy taught us how to Superman Dat Hoe, Lil Wayne celebrates the gang culture and Jay Z acts like it’s better to be selfish than selfless, a trait that no true black leader would ever have. All of this pales in comparison to the legacy left behind by those that came before us. Whatever happen to making a contribution to black history? How can you study the greatness of Elijah Muhammad, W.E.B Dubois and Minister Louis Farrakhan? How can you do the knowledge to people like Denmark Vesey and Carter G. Woodson and not say to yourself, “Damn ,if we don’t get it together, this generation won’t have any black history of their own to talk about (except of course Mr. Barack Obama)!” That brother is black history in the making. Whether he wins or loses, his presence alone and what he’s accomplished thus far have invoked change. That brother goes above and beyond the dream that Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently described. In reality, he is the embodiment of that dream. A blackman who is being judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin. He restores faith in the belief that America is the land of freedom, justice, and EQUALITY.

Harriet Tubman leading the underground railroads led her to become black history, Bob Johnson starting BET led him to become a rich ass ni**a, there’s a difference people. We have to define this thing. I’m proud of what ni**as like Jay, 50, Puff, and Bob have accomplished. I can appreciate those ni**as’ efforts, but when it comes to standing for something, fighting for something, or putting your life and the lives of others on the line for people that you don’t even know, there is no comparison. Creating chapters and chapters of history for future generations to learn from simply because you care about something more than material things is heavy. That is what we need to get back to. If you want, we can set up something called Ni**a Appreciation Month then we can celebrate and reflect on shit like Cash Money’s original 30 million dollar deal with Universal, or 50 Cent’s outstanding investment in Vitamin Water.

Truthfully we appreciate these ni**as for the moves they make. They inspire us to do better when it comes to big business, but nothing they are doing is really uplifting people and changing mankind for the greater good! Have you ever heard of George Washington Carver? As an agricultural chemist, Washington invented three hundred uses for peanuts. What about Dr. Charles Richard Drew? He was the first person to develop the blood bank and Garrett Morgan invented the gas mask and the traffic signal.

These people ladies and gentleman are not just black history but history period! I’m not knocking what P Diddy invented. The remix has given many a song new life, but that’s not black history. This is the month to celebrate Nat Turner, an American slave whose rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia was the most remarkable instance of black resistance to enslavement in the antebellum southern United States. Nat Turner at the time didn’t realize he was making black history. He was just doing what he felt was right in his heart. Listen, we have an obligation to ourselves, to others and most certainly to a higher power.

If it’s our destiny to die in order to make our own black history then so be it. I’d rather die becoming black history than die being a ni**a who was appreciated because I made millions off the exploitation of everything that is negative in the black culture. I ended my session with the class like this, “Don’t just talk about black history, don’t just celebrate black history, and don’t just casually acknowledge black history, strive to be black history. Young world, if we don’t have a true history then we damn sure, positively, without the shadow of a doubt don’t have a promising future.

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