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Representation of Schools and Prisons Through Tupac Shakur

couldntthinkofanoriginalname's picture

Growing up, I learned a lot about the injustices in this world through music, especially through rap. So I will use this form of media to represent schools and prisons. I am posting two things from activist, poet and late artist, Tupac Amaru Shakur. One is a video of his song "trapped" which is filmed in a prison and talks about the ways in which black men--hard to find content on female incarceration--are targeted and, ultimately, trapped in and beyond prison. I have also included the lyrics. The second thing I wanted to share was an interview (in transcript form although the entire video is on Youtube) from Tupac at age 17 speaking in great detail about the injustices in education and the irrelevance of some its subjects. I love this interview because it is from the perspective of a subject we have only analyzed and have not really heard from: a young person of color from an inner-city background. I'd like to share my favorite excerpt. It is Tupac talking about what should be taught in schools:

"There should be a class on drugs. There should be a class on sex education, a real sex education class. Not just pictures and diaphrams and unlogical terms and things like that. There should be a drug class, there should be sex education, there should be a class on scams, there should be a class on religious cult, there should be a class on police brutality, there should be a class on aparthy, there should be on racism in america, there should be a class on why people are hungry, but there not, there’s class on gym, you know, physical education, let’s learn volleyball. because one day…you know…there’s classes like algebra where I’ve yet to go to a store and gone xy+2 and give me my change back thank you. I think you can let me out, I’ve lived alone by myself. And the things that helped me were the things I learned from my mother, from the streets." --Tupac (Age 17).