Black Children Being Harvested for Profit and Charitable Rappers are Fueling My Hope and Outrage This Week

Outrage: Black Children Are Being Farmed Like Cotton

“Black children are the new cotton, people are trying to harvest them for their per pupil funding."—Words spoken by Chris Stewart at SXSW EDU. https://twitter.com/EdCitizen/status/970789016139427840 At that moment, the whole crowd went wild—especially me. Because it’s true. Real talk, our kids are being treated like profits rather than investments. There’s more interest in enrollment than education—and let’s be honest, that goes for charters and traditional public schools. But don’t believe it when they say charter schools are “taking money away” from traditional public schools. That money doesn’t belong to any school—it belongs to the student. Parents, this post is for y’all. See through the B.S. rhetoric you’ve been fed that discourages you from flexing power and exercising your right to do what’s best for your children. That’s your child—and their funding—in that school. If they’re still failing to get your baby to read, to graduate from high school, to be ready for college and career, then you should be knocking their door down demanding answers or ready to transfer your child with the quickness.

Hope: Two Rappers Giving Back

“I got one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight M's in my bank account, yeah (oh God), In my bank account, yeah (oh God)”. Most of us know these lyrics by famous rapper, 21 Savage. And while I’m not too fond of his music (I’m an old school R&B lover), I am very appreciative of his campaign to donate some of his “M’s” to 21 kids. https://youtu.be/9EEiOF6hi1Q The “21 Savage Bank Account Financial Literacy Campaign” will give each recipient a new savings account already stacked with $1,000 to use towards education. Needless to say, commentaries and essays have been pouring in from students trying to jump on this opportunity. And rapper Vic Mensa continues to do his part in helping students from my hometown, Chicago. His new nonprofit organization, SaveMoneySaveLives, is geared towards providing several programs and resources to help at-risk students cope with violence-induced trauma. It’s nothing new for a rapper to do some charity. Diddy has opened a charter school in Harlem and Chance and Common stay looking out for the youth here in Chicago. Rappers, you listening? Time to step up. Here are 3 reasons you should give back specifically to education:
  1. It shows you aren’t forgetting where you came from.
  2. It combats the negative stigma often associated with rappers. After all, you think Coca-Cola and NBA want to endorse a rapper without an appeal to “family values”?
  3. You can make it look “cool” to donate to schools and education. Who knows, maybe others will realize they should step up, too.
So I can’t leave this post without sending a huge shout out to 21 Savage and Vic Mensa! Thank y’all for not only giving back to the kids but for also being examples for them and other celebrities.
Tanesha Peeples
Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work—“If not me, then who?” As the former Deputy Director of Activist Development for brightbeam, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for change in the public education system. Her passion for community and relentless mission for justice and liberation drive her in uplifting and amplifying the voices and ...

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