On the 14-Yr Anniversary of His Death, Biggie Still Speaks to the Black Male Experience

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

March 9, 1997 will forever go down in history as the day when the world lost one of it’s most talented artists, the Notorious B.I.G. Biggie was "the man," dropping lyrics like no other, gaining respect all around the world. He was loved by the community, and his spirit continues to live in the world on the 14-year anniversary of the day that he died.
I loved both Biggie and Tupac when they were alive. Both of them were about my age, and I mourned with the rest of the world after hearing about their deaths. I can also say that, like nearly everyone else, I knew that both Biggie and Pac were going to die young. Both artists seemed to believe that the end was coming soon, which is a problem that is all too common among young African American males.
In the midst of the cultural cancer that impacts the lives of millions of young black men across America, we find that all too often young black men don’t expect to become old men. Hip-hop has long existed as a venue through which the state of the black male is communicated, and in this arena, you find that there is consistent conversation about violence, homicide and the soldier-like suicidal mindset that these men must embrace in order to have a chance to keep breathing.

 

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