To Nipsey, With Love / by Lauren Rascoe

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I remember the way my heart sank.
The way the news shifted the energy amongst the room. 
How the crowd around me felt distant
and the music playing around me
no longer had me in the dancing mood.

At 4:45 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. I just knew.

My life would be different,
and yet, I didn’t even really know you.

I felt conflicted and I didn’t know what to do.

I digested the news that you had completed this leg of The Marathon…
I swallowed the pill that we were robbed of you.
Did you know this was your Victory Lap?
My spirit felt so confused. 
Why did this feel sooo personal?

My soul knew you.

You were the kind of hope that lives in my father. 
The gentleness in my brother. 
The dedication in the men I know who care for our youth. 
You were the kindness and love that uplifts
when it breathes through our community
and shines its light on our jewels
the world has yet to acknowledge and view as valuable.
So your abrupt exit will make it hard to find
a solution to make our hearts feel soothed.

But The Marathon continues.

I’m picking up the torch 
without fear of what the future will ensue.
I will fight for the progression of our kinfolk 
to walk on land that is brand new.
I know what to do.
Everything we’ve got, we’ve got to own it.
This life is ours to reign. 
It’s is our duty to come together and break the chains
wrapped around our mindsets
and the way we play the game.
We owe it to ourselves to change.
We’ve got to let your legacy rise from these ashes,
never letting your life’s work go in vain.
Acknowledge the pain.
Use it as fuel
to help provide our brothers and sisters the tools.
To sustain themselves and amend the rules
that have been put in place to keep us down.
I will not let the systems in place steal our crowns.

I know it will not be easy to continue your life’s work,
but for the cause to see my people shine,
I am willing to serve.
To reach back and pull forward.
To connect and expose the learning curves.
To be the hope our people need
and create the opportunities we deserve.
We cannot stop now. 
This cannot end here.
We must continue down the path
even when the path doesn’t seem clear.

Ermias Asghedom,

We’ll see it through. 
We have to.

The Marathon Continues…

To Nipsey, With Love.