Lupe Fiasco served a dose of reality to a group of young, black men during a high school graduation speech in Chicago.
“Congratulations, you have graduated from one of the most terrible, substandard school systems in the entire world. You have just spent the last … 12 years receiving one of the worst educations on earth. You are at least four, five steps behind people in other countries that younger than you,” Fiasco said according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Chi-town native was the Mass Black Male Graduation and Transition to Manhood ceremony’s keynote speaker. While giving the 150 recent graduates their props, Fiasco was sure to let them know they had much more to do as students and as young black men.
“Transition to manhood is the most important thing that’s going on right now. The caps and gowns and your tassels and your honorary blah blah blahs don’t mean nothing. That’s just dress,” Lupe explained. “That’s just some clothes. Meaningless clothes, too, because they have no real purpose in life. They don’t keep you warm. What do they do? They just represent to someone else that you’ve achieved something. But then when you look back at it, what have you achieved.”
The rapper's criticisms of his own school system were well received by parents and other speakers present. “He gave the young people their first real dose of reality,” Phillip Jackson, executive director of the Black Star Project whose group organized the ceremony, said.
Lupe also pledged $100 for each the 150 graduates in attendance and urged the teens to earn their manhood before leaving, “For young black men … it is one the last things that we have … and one of the last things that we can control. Manhood is connected to humanity.”
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