This short clip brings some great context to the brutality of slavery and the triumph of these remarkable people breaking free of the chains of their evil slave masters.
Nas encounters his 3rd Great-Grandmother’s Bill of Sale, a devastatingly telling document, and imagines what his enslaved ancestors’ daily lives might have been like, from hardships and pain to marriage and celebration.
I am so glad he took a stance on the issue because a lot of prominent Black politicians have folded when faced with questions of Police Brutality.
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Full Transcript of his answer:
Well, I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little bias ed here. I don’t know all the facts. What’s been reported, though, is that the guy forgot his keys. He jimmied his way to get into the house. There was a report called into the police station that there might be a burglary taking place. so far so good. Right? I mean, if I was trying to jigger in — well, I guess this is my house now so it probably wouldn’t happen. Let’s say my old house in Chicago. here I’d get shot. But so far so good. They’re reporting, the police are doing what they should. There’s a call. They go investigate what happens. My understanding is at that point Professor Gates is already in his house. The police officer comes in. I’m sure there’s some exchange of words but my understanding is that Professor Gates then shows his I.D. to show that this is his house. And at that point he gets arrested for disorderly conduct, charges which are later dropped. Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry. Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. And that’s just a fact.
BOSTON — Prosecutors dropped a disorderly conduct charge Tuesday against prominent black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., who was arrested at his home near Harvard University after a report of a break-in.
The city of Cambridge issued a statement saying the arrest “was regrettable and unfortunate” and police and Gates agreed that dropping the charge was a just resolution.
“This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department,” the statement said.
Supporters say Gates – the director of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research – was the victim of racial profiling.
Officers responded to the home Gates rents from Harvard after a woman reported seeing two black men trying to force open the front door. Gates’ lawyer, fellow Harvard scholar Charles Ogletree, said the professor had returned from a trip overseas, found his front-door jammed and had to force it open. Continue reading