Years after leaving office, former President Barack Obama continues to enact his vision of hope and change across the United States. To that end, he penned a letter praising the legacy of late rapper Nipsey Hussle that was read aloud at his Thursday memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, which has a capacity of tens of thousands of people.
He both lauded the late performer’s community work and pushed for its continuation, sharing:
‘I’d never met Nipsey Hussle, but… after his passing, I had the chance to learn more about his transformation and community work. While most people look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets, and despair, he saw potential. He saw hope. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, always taught him to keep going. His choice to invest in that community rather than ignore it… is a legacy worthy of celebration. I hope his memory inspires more good work in Crenshaw and communities like it.’
— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) April 11, 2019
As Obama mentioned, the rapper was responsible for efforts like Vector90, which serves as both a coworking space that gives burgeoning young entrepreneurs a place to flesh out their ideas and a skill training center, offering young black residents of the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles the chance to learn science and technology skills and connect with Silicon Valley.
Hussle has explained of the project:
‘Growing up as a kid, I was looking for somebody — not to give me anything — but somebody that cared. Someone that was creating the potential for change and that had an agenda outside of their own self-interests.’
He was responsible for a number of other businesses outside of Vector90, pouring investment into the areas closest to his heart. Earlier this year, he purchased the entire strip mall whose parking lot he was murdered in a couple of weeks ago. He already had a clothing store there and had plans to transform the block into a mixed-use condo development.
He reached those heights after having been involved in gangs as a teen, and his death has reportedly been investigated as a gang homicide. The shooter, who’s also apparently responsible for wounding two other men, is in custody.
The vision that Hussle left behind is already clearly close to the Obamas. The former president’s family has worked on developing the Obama Foundation in the time since they left office, seeking to empower emerging leaders from around the world. For instance, the foundation maintains a unique academic program to “give rising young leaders around the world who are already making a difference in their communities the opportunity to take their work to the next level through a newly designed curriculum that brings together academic, skills-based, and hands-on learning” — and that’s just one of the foundation’s many programs.
Meanwhile, New York state authorities have sued the Trump family over their now defunct foundation for violating laws against self-dealing and are seeking millions of dollars in damages.
Could the two figures be any more different?
Featured Image via screenshot