“We will forever be grateful to you and your family, the graceful intelligent compassionate first lady, Mrs. Obama, as well as your beautiful daughters Sasha and Malia for their collective sacrifices for US,” rapper and actor Tip Harris, better known as T. I. writes in an open letter to President Barack Obama that can be found on the New York Times website.
In December Tip released Us or Else: Letter to the System, his politically charged album addressing issues including police brutality and addressing life as a Black man.
This is a first in a series of letters Tip is planning to share before the inauguration. His next letter will be to President Elect-Donald Trump.
On why he chose to pen these open letters reflecting on President Obama’s impact, Tip says:
“My first purpose is to communicate and share my thoughts and try to be a voice for the people who may be thinking of something to say but, for some reason, may not be able to say it or not have the platform to say it. Using my platform to be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.”
Here are excerpts:
“You entered humbly into our worlds from the streets of the South Side of Chicago and galvanized a generation. You resonated from the barbershops to the airwaves to the streets of every hood across America. Many of US did not know your name, nor did we truly understand the impact you would have on the world in the years, months and days that followed.
“As I reflect, I am filled with gratitude, outrage, grief, anger, humility and appreciation, both for the things you helped bring to light and the many things we still have yet to realize.
“For years you fought to keep this nation from the very thing we have now become.
“For years, many of US failed you because, as I’ve said before, we were not all ready for the change you wanted to bring about.
“But rest assured that we heard you. Rest assured that we felt you and rest assured that your legacy will live on long after your presidency.
“Not only did you impact a nation, but you defined a culture and you shook up and woke up a generation.”
Read the letter in its entirety by clicking here.