Drake is one of the most recent celebrities to pay respect to George Floyd using a Assata Shakur’s poem.
The murder of George Floyd by white police officers has reverberated through every sector of society, from famous people to ordinary folk all trying to bring attention to the injustice that is occurring too many times. Although an incredible writer whose lyrics have claimed numerous awards, Drake chose to instead allow another’s words to speak during this tragic time. The “Chicago Freestyle” rapper shared a poem on his Instagram by Assata Shakur, a civil rights activist who was a member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army.
The poem, entitled “Affirmation,” appears in her 1987 autobiography, which she published in Cuba where she was granted political asylum and still resides. “I believe in living. I believe in the spectrum of Beta days and Gamma people. I believe in sunshine. In windmills and waterfalls, tricycles and rocking chairs,” read the portion that Drake shared. “I have been locked by the lawless. Handcuffed by the haters. Gagged by the greedy. And if i know any thing at all, it’s that a wall is just a wall and nothing more at all. It can be broken down.”
Over the past 24 hours, protests calling for justice for Floyd and those like him have occurred across the US, including Minneapolis, where the incident occurred in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. Some, like Rihanna and Beyoncé, have urged citizens to sign petitions, but Lil Wayne shared that he has a different perspective on armchair activism.
“Some people put a tweet out and they think they did something. Some people wear a shirt and they think they did something. What you gonna do after that? Did you actually help the person? Did you actually help the family?” he said during a discussion with Fat Joe. Instead, Weezy felt as though we should all hold ourselves accountable for not doing more.
Read Drake’s Assata Shakur’s poem “Affirmation” below.
I believe in living.
I believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
I believe in sunshine.
In windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs.
And i believe that seeds grow into sprouts.
And sprouts grow into trees.
I believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
I believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.
I believe in life.
And i have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path.
I have seen the destruction of the daylight,
and seen bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted.
I have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
I have walked on cut glass.
I have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference.
I have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if i know any thing at all,
it’s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.
I believe in living.
I believe in birth.
I believe in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.
And i believe that a lost ship,
steered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still be guided home