A statement from both Barack and Michelle Obama was read by Karen Civil Thursday (April 11), at the rapper’s memorial service. In the letter, the author shared how he learned of the rapper’s music through his daughters Sasha and Malia and discovered his activism soon after.
“I’ve never met Nipsey, but I’d heard some of his music through my daughters and after his passing, I had the chance to learn more about his transformation and his community work,” the letter reads.
“While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and only see gangs, bullets and despair Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope. He saw a community that, even though it had its flaws, taught him to always keep going. His choice to invest in that community rather than ignore it–to build a skills training center and a coworking space in Crenshaw; to lift up the Eritrean-American community; to set an example for young people to follow –is a legacy worthy of celebration.
I hope his memory inspires more good work in Crenshaw and communities like it.”
Watch the memorial service here.