Prophet. Poet. Hip Hop Legend. Happy Birthday Tupac Shakur

“I am not a gangster and never have been.  I’m not the thief who grabs your purse.  I’m not the guy who jacks your car.  I’m not down with people who steal and hurt others.  I’m just a brother who fights back.  I’m not some violent closet psycho.  I’ve got a job.  I’m an artist.”

When I think of the late Tupac Shakur, my immediate description that comes to mind is “tortured soul.”  Tupac Amaru Shakur born Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971, also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was born in East Harlem, New York City.  During the first 17 years of his life, he was raised by his Black revolutionary mother, Afeni.  Both of his parents and several other people in his family were members of the Black Panther Party, whose ideals were later reflected in his songs.  In his early youth, Shakur became involved in the performing arts as a theater actor and rapper.  Aesthetically-driven by the arts, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to gain greater opportunities.  Shakur received his big break as a roadie, backup dancer and MC for the alternative hip hop group Digital Underground, thanks to group leader Shock G.

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Black History Month: Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning Author

Annette_Gordon_Reed_Author_Black_History_Month_Pulitzer_Prize_Harvard_University_Law_School_Dartmouth_College_Education_Inspiration
Photo Credit:  Jerry Bauer

Creator spotlight to acknowledge and celebrate black history makers

“Love has been many things throughout history: the simple comfort of the familiar, having a person to know and being known by that person in return; a connection born of shared experiences, an irrational joy in another’s presence; a particular calming influence that one member of the couple may exert on the other, or that they both provide to one another. A combination of all these and myriad other things can go into making one person wish to stay tied to another. Anyone who is not in the couple–that is, everyone else in the world–will not understand precisely how or why it works for two people.” – Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello:  An American Family

American historian and law professor, Annette Gordon-Reed, was the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize for History in 2009 for her book, The Hemingses of Monticello:  An american Family.  She also won 15 other prizes for the work she’s done during that year.  In 2010, she received the National Humanities Medal and was named a MacArthur Fellow.  Gordan-Reed was educated at Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.  She is a Professor of Law and History at Harvard, and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Raddiffe Institute for Advanced Study.

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Welcome to my new blog: The Perennial Aesthete

Hey good people! Your friendly neighborhood Ralph A. Gilmore is here. You might need to sit down and read up on all the awesome news I’d like to share with you in my very first post on my new blog, The Perennial Aesthete.  I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to finally have this baby up and running!

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