Friday, June 16, 2017.
One day (much later than one would expect to realize such things), it dawned on me that Tupac was Black, and that I wasn’t. I realized that his love and his words weren’t intended for me. I felt like an outsider — like someone who woke up and realized that world that they had been living in all this time wasn’t intended for them, but that they were only getting a tour of what was originally created for the sake of rich, educated, White men. I remember that it made me feel a little bit sad, disappointed, hurt, and also embarrassed. I had always thought that Tupac was somehow beyond all that, but it turned out that he wasn’t. I realized that Black people were racist, and hateful, and ignorant — and that he was singing his songs for them, to help them heal. I realized that Black people had suffered a lot, and that they were still suffering. And I realized that Black people needed Tupac’s love for them, in a way that perhaps I didn’t.