Black male graduates of Chicago high school are “four, five steps behind people in other countries,” rapper Lupe Fiasco told young men at a Mass Black Male Graduation and Transition to Manhood ceremony.
The local rapper began by saying, “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.”
. . . “Transition to manhood is the most important thing that’s going on right now. The caps and the gowns and your tassels and your honorary blah blah blahs don’t mean nothing. . . . 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, a product of Chicago-area schools, told the young men to earn and maintain their manhood, “one of the last things that we can control.”
Philip Jackson, the event’s organizer, called the speech a needed “dose of reality.”