The one-year anniversary of Pop Smoke tragic murder is rapidly approaching and his parents have recorded a public service announcement denouncing gun violence in remembrance of their son. Pop Smoke’s parents, Aubrey and Greg Jackson have teamed up with the non-profit youth organization I Will Graduate, which is committed to ending gun violence. The 20-year-old rapper, born Bashar Barakah Jackson was killed in Los Angeles last year during a home invasion.
“On Feb. 19 at 4 a.m., a gun was used to take my son from me. You know him as Pop Smoke, we call him Shar, “Pop Smoke’s mother shared in the video. “Because of gun violence, I’ll never see my son run up the front of our steps, taking them two at a time. He won’t ever take my hands again and dance with me. He won’t come into my room and muscle-pose in the mirror. Gun violence destroys families. It must stop.”
I Will Graduate serves over 15,000 New York City middle school and high school students weekly through its after school programs. I Will Graduate executive director and co-founder Tonya Lewis explained in a statement why she felt the importance of getting the slain rapper’s parents involved with the PSA and the organization.
“We needed to get our youth’s attention fast [who] saw Pop Smoke’s polarizing music, life and death as a catalyst for positive change. We reached out to his parents who wanted to honor their son’s legacy by participating in the video” Lewis said. “We want the youth to considerably weigh the cost of their actions. There is no going back after that trigger is pulled. One moment of anger creates a lifetime of pain and anguish for the loved ones left behind.”
Five suspects have been arrested in connection with Pop Smoke’s murder and are awaiting trial.
For more information on the non-profit youth organization, go to www.iwillgraduateprogram.com. Take a look at the emotional PSA on the next page.