Hip-hop star Aloe Blacc speaks out in support of charter schools

Excerpts of hip-hop artist Aloe Blacc’s comments on Wednesday at the pro-charter-school rally in Brooklyn:

“I’ve always believed my music could be a voice for change in the world. I can’t tell you how proud I am to add my voice to 15,000 demanding equal education for all New York City kids.

“For too many kids in this city, ZIP code determines destiny. There are 478,000 mostly black and Hispanic students trapped in a system of schools that are failing them.

“A child who starts kindergarten in one of these failed elementary schools has less than a 2 percent chance of going to a high-performing middle school. In reality, this is not one system but two — separate and unequal — and children of color are the ones who suffer. We cannot let this continue. Education is too important. All kids — regardless of ZIP code, regardless of skin color — deserve access to great schools.

“I was raised by immigrant parents who believed in the power of a good education. My dad was in the armed forces and our family traveled a lot. But my parents ultimately knew it would be better to settle near good public schools so that my sisters and I could receive the best possible education.

“I was fortunate. I excelled in most disciplines and was placed on an advanced curriculum track throughout grade school. In high school, I took AP and IB classes and was able to participate in extracurricular activities like Model United Nations.

“I was well prepared for the college-entrance process and attended the University of Southern California on a full-tuition academic scholarship. I am who I am today because of a good education.

“Our kids cannot wait for slow improvements. Every child must have an equal chance at life’s opportunities now.”

Aloe Blacc, 36, is a California-born hip-hop artist, singer, songwriter, actor, record producer and musician. His album “Lift Your Spirit” was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for best R&B album.

Comments

Medium

  • Images with a data-picture-mapping attribute will be responsive, with a file size appropriate for the browser width.