Thursday, February 08, 2007

Holding it down: Salome Thomas-El

Pic courtesy of
  • Chessville

  • Peace and blessings,

    A couple of months ago, a friend of mine sent me a
  • video of Cam'ron and Dame Dash on The Bill O' Reilly show
  • . The topic of discussion was whether or not hip-hop has a negative influence on youth. The question was posed by A principal of a middle school in Philidelphia. While watching the segment, I felt that Cam'ron and Dame Dash were "skating around" the issue and didn't want to really address the extent to which their lyrics and lifestyle influences the youth. Not knowing who the principal was who posed this important question to Cam'ron and Dash (and symbolically to mainstream hip-hop as a whole), I sympathized with him for a couple of reasons. One, I could tell that he was legitimately concerned about the youth in his school. Second, I felt that his concerns were dismissed by Cam and Dame.

    Pic courtesy of
  • Wolfram MathWorld

  • About a month later, I came across this article on
  • All Hip-Hop
  • and learned alittle more about who the principal was, and the work he does with the youth at his school. In particular, I was fascinated to learn about how he
  • uses chess as a tool to teach his students life lessons
  • . Reading about his story reminded me of the many teachers who are dedicating their lives and resources everyday to impact the lives of youth.

    In sum, this story, and other personal stories I hear about friends of mine who view teaching as their calling, lets me know about the power education, and how teaching and connecting with students go hand in hand. More on Salome Thomas-El can be found on
  • his website
  • . Also, it has been reported that
  • Will Smith will play him in upcoming film
  • . Below is the video segment on the Bill O'Reilly show. Until next time, speekonit...


    Anonymous said...

    One word can sum this segment up and that is IGNORANCE. Cameron and Damon Dash expressed total ignorance in this interview. The first thing that came out of Cameron's mouth was "at the end of the day, yeah you got a influence on it, but so do movies" He immediately began poiniting the finger instead of answering the question. I think its sad, and we need to teach our kids to strive for better.

    Now the host was off base, and his tone was very condesending.

    Damon Dash kept trying to justify their lyrics and videos by saying they promote having your own business, being successful, etc; The only problem is that this is not what the rappers rap about. Instead they are talking about materialism, sex, drugs, gangs, and violence. I could go on and on about this segement, but I dont have the time.

    Unknown said...

    You hit it right on the nail. Anyone who saw that could tell that they skated around the issue.