It has been 19 days since the slaying of Slauson’s own Nipsey the great, and it took me a couple of days to decide exactly how I wanted to approach this subject. It has also been a week since his public funeral and I didn’t want to be like one of those other journalists and bloggers writing think pieces without giving themselves the opportunity to let what happened to Nipsey sink in. When we do speak about gun violence and the loss of life, it is a very serious matter. Nevertheless, when it comes down to a celebrity that was a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a pillar of the community, and most importantly, a successful black man, we insist on talking about it.
I was a fan of his philanthropic work, his mission to make his community better, the people of his community stronger and his ability to teach skills needed to be better people and to improve the way of life. He cared about his surroundings and wanted to do everything in his power to change the wrongs that he was witnessing. I was a huge fan of the love that he shared with the love of his life, Lauren London. It made me feel like if there was anything that I wanted for myself, as a woman of color, it would be to have a man that protects me, loves me and shields me that way he did for her. How could a person not be inspired by that? How could anyone look at his life, listen to his words, watch his actions and not what that for themselves?
For over a week, I’ve seen a lot of people question his motives online. I have watched people talk real crazy about his lady, their love and the people that he cared most for. And for each person who chose to troll his legacy, hundreds of others spoke about the impact that he continues to leave on their hearts. While writing this, I remember the look of peace and serenity that his mother, Angelique Smith had in a video that she recently released. The acceptance of his son transiting to another part of his journey showed me so much strength and respect for her. “When you live your life and you have God on your side when God dwells inside of you, there is no fear. Everything is in perfect order. He is the great and now he’s even greater because he has no bounds and no limits; his energy is everywhere. He’s there with you now and he’s here with me now. Please be encouraged. Death is not to be feared. Death is something to prepare yourself for.”
This is a reminder that life is such a precious thing that we must cherish every single day. That while we have breath in our bodies, we should work on making ourselves, our peers, and our communities better. Better for our children, our children’s children and on forward. Nipsey is the man that the public knew. We knew his music, his charitable efforts and his plans of making his world a better place, but Ermias was the man that only a few people were blessed to know. He was a son, a father, a provider, a soulmate and a pillar of his community. He was the light at the end of the tunnel that showed the way for a lot of people. If you didn’t know of him prior to his death, you probably know more about him now and maybe that was the message that his life is supposed to convey to us. His words were loud, but his actions were louder, and we must not only talk that talk but be a man (or woman) of action. We must be open to solving problems that not only affect us but those around us. Every day that we live on this earth, we must work towards our legacy, build knowledge and wealth for our children. Nipsey’s memory will live on, everything that he has done will live on in the hearts of everyone that he has touched. We will never forget him and his dreams. So pick up the baton and keep the marathon going. 🏁