Pop Chart Prison

Ebony Carter, Staff

The shackles on African Americans never fell. Every African American in America is an inmate. An inmate to the pop chart prison. Men and women. Boys and girls. Young and old. And everyone is serving a life sentence. Unless we dismantle the pop chart prison from the bottom up. You don’t believe me. Well then why do too many young African American girls know how to twerk before they can read and write? And then why do too many of our African American women equate body exploitation with beauty? But why do way too many African American boys know the power behind a gun before they do a pen? And why do way too many of our African American men find pride in being a pimp before they would being a father. A husband. A provider. What are we going to do about it?

The day you allow your African American children to be exposed to hip hop music and culture is the day you turn them in to serve a life sentence in the pop chart prison. Our young girls and women are sentenced because they start to believe that their beauty is measured by how sexually aroused they can make a man, how they can move their body in sexual ways, how much they can exploit their body through the clothes they wear for the pleasure of men. They start to believe that they are the deragatory terms that hip hop music has placed upon them. They start to believe they are just a man’s sex object. And they start to live and conduct their lives as such. So they never get to discover and live out the beautiful, confident, amazing, strong, intelligent, independent black women that she was destined to be. Our young men and boys were sentenced because they believe that doing and selling drugs makes you a man. And then you also have to remember to get all the girls you can. They are taught that belts and positive, neat self appearance went out of style decades ago. They are taught to only be proud fathers of the fairskins. Brownskins and darkskins don’t need fathers. And they, like our young women and girls begin to believe that the only way he can make a come up in this world is by selling dope. They  believe that being a man is seeing how many other men and boys you can destroy, because it’s always about being on top, right? They never know what it is like to be the father, the provider, strong, resilient, successful man like the African American men that came before them.

We must reclaim our men, women, boys, and girls. We must reclaim our culture. Bring it back to the basics. Young girls, it is no longer about how many boys you can get to look your way. I declare to you now that it is about how many job offers and success stories you can claim. Young men, it is no longer about how many m’s you can get selling drugs, but now it’s about seeing what you can achieve with an actual career. Our ancestors worked hard to get us to the place we are at now. So let’s work hard to continue that legacy and be kings and queens we are destined to be.