Today is Youth Day, and it would have been the birthday of Tupac Shakur, my favourite rapper. Here’s why this is especially significant for me.

The Rise of the Black Consciousness Movement

As a history enthusiast, the most painful part of my studies was learning about the rise of the Black Consciousness Movement in the 1970s. We get caught up in our own comfort, but those who came before us went through traumas unimaginable. The Soweto Uprising was a historical event with historical significance. The schoolchildren of 1976 stood up for their basic human rights – something we now have. The youth fought and stood up against injustice, inequality and the oppression caused by apartheid. ‘1976 Soweto Uprising’ is written on my wall in big bold letters, and I hold this day of commemoration very dear to my heart and existence.

Today would’ve been Tupac’s 47th birthday. Coincidental? Maybe

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Tupac is my favourite rapper, and he was one of the greatest lyrical geniuses and poets the world has ever seen. Tupac Amura Shakur believed in the Black Consciousness Movement and his music testified to it. Although he might be long gone in flesh, he made an immense impact on young people then, and he still does today.

Tupac’s parents were prominent, active members of the Black Panther Party, and this was his introduction to politics and social justice. Tupac would also go on to resist the socioeconomic and racial oppression of black people, and he was soon adored among black youth, although he was young himself. Tupac was often portrayed as a violent criminal in the 1990s, but the world has finally evolved enough to acknowledge Tupac as a political figure in his own right.

 ‘I will spark the brain that will change the world’ – Tupac Amaru Shakur

Today marks the day that we celebrate past victories achieved for social justice, and those who believed in it enough to risk or sacrifice their lives.